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The Presidium of the Bar Association has decided to disbar well-known lawyer Alaif Hasanov. Hasanov says that he was not invited to the discussion on this issue, and was not even informed that it was taking place. He therefore considers the decision unlawful.
He says that he learned about the Bar Association’s decision through the organisation’s website, and that the leadership of the Bar Association has approved the decision. Hasanov said he had been told that he would not be able to continue the cases he has undertaken, and noted that he would not be able to defend a number of political prisoners, including Omar Mammadov and Murad Adilov.
According to Hasanov, the official reason for the disbarment was the court decision dated 6 November 2014, sentencing him to community service based on the lawsuit brought by Nuriyya Huseynov, the former cellmate of Leyla Yunus. Huseynova filed a defamation lawsuit against the lawyer after his statements about the harassment of his client by Huseynova. The lawyer was sued for communicating Leyla Yunus’ statements to the press.
Alaif Hasanov considers Huseynova’s claim and the court decision unfounded. He said that the offence of which he is accused does not constitute a public threat and therefore cannot be used as a reason for disbarment. His cassation appeal is yet to be heard by the Supreme Court, and thus the case is not yet final. Hasanov said that he would challenge the Bar Association’s decision in court.
A number of other well-known lawyers including Elchin Namazov, Khalid Bagirov and Aslan Ismayilov have also been disbarred and prevented from continuing their professional work.