March 13th, 2008
“Azadlig” Newspaper Agil Khalil, who was beat while trying to investigate the cutting down of trees in “Olive Gardens,” confirmed to the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety that his case material has been returned by Baku City Chief Police Department to Binagedi Police Department #7.

Khalil told IRFS that yesterday he spoke via telephone with the chief of Binagedi Police Department #7. The chief told him, “The case material has been returned by the Baku City Chief Police Department. Due to delays in the clerk’s office, we were unaware that the documents had come back.” When Khalil had inquired if a criminal case would be instituted on the incident, the chief responded to this saying, “there is no serious criminal act in this case.”

Agil Khalil, emphasizing that it appears that law enforcement agencies are trying to conceal his case, said that he has already appealed to lawyer Elchin Sadigov and will appeal to the court about this matter.
To clarify this matter, IRFS contacted Elchin Sadigov. Sadigov said, “According to the Criminal Procedural Code, with in 20 days after a crime is reported a decision must be adopted about whether to open a criminal case or not. We are waiting for this time frame to pass. Time is calculated from the 23 of February. If a criminal case is not instituted, we will immediately appeal to court.”
*According to Criminal Procedural Code article 207 (reviewing information about committed and/or prepared crimes), researchers/investigators must conduct an initial investigation about whether there is enough grounds for the opening of a criminal case, and adopt a decision about whether to open a criminal case or not within 20 days.