A cassation appeal has been filed against the Baku Appeal Court’s December 9, 2015 decision on the criminal case against Leyla Yunus and Arif Yunus. Leyla and Arif Yunus were arrested in 2014. They were charged with treason, fraud, tax evasion, illegal entrepreneurship, falsification of documents, and deliberate use of false documents. On June 23, 2015, the investigative agency split the criminal case of Leyla and Arif Yunus, launching separate proceedings on the treason charges. The case on the other economic offences was heard by the court and on August 13, 2015, Baku Grave Crimes Court sentenced Leyla Yunus to 8.5 years and Arif Yunus to 7 years in jail. The verdict also ordered that their properties be confiscated and the funds in their bank accounts be transferred to the state treasury. On November 12, 2015, Baku Court of Appeal replaced the pretrial detention measure selected against Arif Yunus, and he was released on recognizance. On December 9, 2015, the Baku Court of Appeal commuted Leyla Yunus’ and Arif Yunus’ prison sentences into suspended sentences with a 5-year probation period, and Leyla Yunus was also released from the courtroom. The Court of Appeal also reversed the decision to confiscate the house, which is in the name of their daughter Dinara, who lives abroad. However, the decision on the confiscation of other properties, including on the transfer of the funds from their bank accounts to the state treasury, remained in place.
The lawyer for the Yunuses, Elchin Sadigov, said that the cassation appeal was submitted to the Supreme Court on February 2.
Sadigov added that Leyla and Arif Yunus had been prosecuted and convicted illegally and arbitrarily.
According to the lawyer, the cassation appeal requires that the criminal proceedings against Leyla and Arif Yunus be dismissed on exculpatory grounds and that the property confiscation be annulled.