On November 13 the Baku Court on Grave Crimes held a hearing on the case of religious blogger Rashad Ramazanov. Judge Alisultan Osmanov presided over the hearing.
The blogger’s attorney made a speech, saying that the charges brought against Ramazanov were not proved and he must be acquitted.
“The court granted none of the motions filed by the defense. Rashad was interrogated under torture. No search was conducted in his apartment while he is accused of drug trafficking. All the prosecution witnesses were brought to the trial by the police. All these prove that the charges are trumped-up, that is why the investigative body sees no need to do additional investigations. The facts that the blogger’s family was not informed at the time of his detention and he was not given an access to a lawyer that he wanted are violation of the law” said the lawyer.
In his speech, the blogger did not plead guilty to the charges and requested acquittal.
After a deliberation, the court announced the verdict, sentencing Ramazanov to 9 years in jail.
Background: Blogger Rashad Ramazanov (Rashad Hagigat Agaaddin) was detained on May 9, near the “January 20” metro station and taken to the Department for Combating Organized Crime. The police reportedly found 9 grams of heroin on the blogger. Ramazanov rejects the charges. Once convicted, the blogger can face confiscation of property and imprisonment for 12 years. On May 20th the blogger was transferred to Baku Investigative Prison. On August 7th his case was referred to the Baku Court on Grave Crimes.
The blogger used his Facebook page to criticize ruling regime on the issues related to freedom and justice (http://on.fb.me/12G0WJE).