Court in Baku sentences oppositionist to 5 years of imprisonment

The Baku Court for Serious Crimes on 1 April sentenced Party of People’s Front of Azerbaijan activist Elkhan Aliyev to 5 years of imprisonment.

He was found guilty under Articles 178.3.2 (fraud with large-scale damage), 320.1 (production of false document) and 320.2 (use of false document) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan, his lawyer Neymat Kerimli said.

Earlier, the prosecutor proposed to sentence Aliyev to 7 years of imprisonment.

Two other defendants in the case – Yusif Aliyev and Vafadar Akhundov were given suspended sentences.

The oppositionist rejected the charges, as saying he was being prosecuted on the basis of a false accusation for political reasons.

His lawyer also pointed out that the court did not prove Elkhan Aliyev’s guilt on the crimes imputed to him. The court did not conduct an objective investigation, judge Leyla Askerova-Mammadova did not even allow the accused to make his last word.

*The criminal case was opened based on the complaint of citizen Ramo Shukurov, who claimed that the defendants committed “fraud” by selling him a land plot for 57,000 manats in Nardaran settlement without a title deed.

However, Shukurov persistently asked Elkhan Aliyev, who was previously engaged in real estate activities, to help him purchase the plot. Shukurov was warned that there was no ownership document for the plot. Nonetheless, the buyer insisted that he would solve the issue of registration of ownership himself. At the same time, Shukurov immediately paid the amount without making a preliminary deposit.

Despite the fact that the money was returned to Shukurov, in court he insisted on punishing the accused.

Note that the Aliyev’s sentence will be appealed in the Court of Appeal. Human rights activists recognised Elkhan Aliyev as a political prisoner.

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