July 20th, 2009
Today, 20 July, in the Baku Appellate Court, hearings were held on the appeals against Sabail District Court’s decision to sentence “Alumni Network” Youth Organization Coordinator, ANTV Online TV Leader Emin Milli and one of “OL” Youth Organization’s coordinators, well-known video-blogger Adnan Hajizade to pre-trial detention.

During both hearings the defense lawyers put forth a motion to change the judges. They objected to the court composition because the hearings were held closed. The motions were rejected after deliberation.

Lawyer Elton Guliyev told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) that judge Jamal Ramazanov did not fulfill Emin Milli’s appeal and upheld Sabail Distrcit court’s decision.     

According to Lawyer Isakhan Ashurov, an analogous decision was adopted on Adnan Hajizade’s appeal. “Judge Jamal Ramazanov did not fulfill the appeal to annul the decision to sentence Hajizade to pre-trial detention.”
The lawyers said that they will file a cassation complaint against the decisions of the Appellate Court.
Representatives from embassies, international organizations, civil society and journalists were not allowed in the hearing because the hearings were held closed.

On 8 July, at approximately 8:00 p.m., Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade were sitting at a table in “Lebonese” (Livan) restaurant along with several other young adults, when two people that looked like sportsmen came up to them, and attacked them causing physical injuries. Although they appealed to police as victims, police detained Adnan and Emin as suspected persons for 48 hours and freed the attackers. On 10 July, Sabail District Court Judge Rauf Ahmadov issued a decision under article 221.2.1 (hooliganism) of the Criminal Code to sentence Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade to two months pre-trial detention. Both Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade are being held in the Investigative Prison of Baku.