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On March 4, Baku Court on Grave Crimes, held a hearing on the case of journalist Parviz Hashimli and Tavakkul Gurbanov, who is charged as accomplice in what the National Security Agency, or MNB, claims to be “smuggling” by “organized group”.
Parviz Hashimli’s lawyers put forward motions. The first motion, which was about replacement of pretrial detention with house arrest, was dismissed. So were the following motions, to investigate torture reports by the journalist and render a special judgment on chief of the isolation ward of the Ministry of National Security (MNS), as well as recognize violation of Hashimli’s right of defense.
Then the journalist’s lawyers objected to the composition of the jury on grounds that it included presiding judge Novruz Karimov, a former MNS investigator, judge Ramella Allahverdiyeva, who handed down a 9-year jail sentence to journalist Avaz Zeynalli, and also because the jury rejected every motion of the defense with explanation. The objection remained unconsidered.
The next hearing has been fixed for March 7, at 15:30.
Background: Bizim Yol newspaper journalist and moderator.az editor-in-chief Parviz Hashimli was detained on September 17, by employees of the Ministry of National Security. On September 18, the journalist was handed down a two-month pretrial detention sentence by the Sabail District Court under two articles of the Azerbaijani Criminal Code: Article 206.3.2 (smuggling of firearms on preliminary arrangement by an organized group) and 228.2.1 (illegal purchase, transfer, selling, storage, transportation and carrying of firearms, their accessories, supplies and explosives by an organized group),. His detention term was extended for another three months on November 7.