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Court of Appeal Rejects Motions in Journalist Rauf Mirgadirov’s Case
Summary: Hearing 1 (February 18, 2016)
Ø The defendant’s lawyer, Fuad Agayev, filed a motion to replace Rauf Mirgadirov’s pretrial detention with house arrest, but this was denied by the court;
Ø The lawyer’s next motion asked for discontinuation of the criminal proceedings against Rauf Mirgadirov. This motion was also dismissed;
Ø Fuad Agayev then requested the court to conduct the appeal hearing through a partial retrial. The judge rejected the motion.
Baku Court of Appeal, chaired by judge Abid Abdinbayov, held a closed preliminary hearing on the criminal case against journalist Rauf Mirgadirov. Rauf Mirgadirov was arrested on April 19, 2014. On December 28, 2015, Baku Grave Crimes Court found the journalist guilty under article 274 (treason) of the Criminal Code and sentenced him to 6 years in prison. On January 18, 2016, Rauf Mirgadirov’s lawyer filed an appeal with Baku Court of Appeal against December 28, 2015 verdict of the Baku Grave Crimes Court, seeking his client’s acquittal.
At today’s hearing, the defendant Rauf Mirgadirov’s lawyer Fuad Agayev filed a motion to discontinue the criminal case against Rauf Mirgadirov. The motion was not sustained.
The lawyer put forward another motion requesting that Mirgadirov’s pretrial detention be reduced to house arrest. The judge ruled this motion unfounded and it was accordingly rejected.
Fuad Agayev filed a third motion asking for a partial retrial and examination of evidence during the appeal hearing, but this motion was, again, denied.
The judge set the appeal hearing for March 3, 2016, at 15.00.
After today’s hearing, Agayev said that he would consult with Rauf Mirgadirov on whether to file an appeal with Supreme Court against the appellate court’s decision to hold the appeal hearing without a retrial.
When asked why the preliminary hearing had been held behind closed doors, the lawyer said that had been no grounds for this, because there was no information in the proceedings that could be considered a state secret.
Fuad Agayev also reported his client’s health problems. “He has high blood pressure and is on long term medication to normalize his cerebral blood circulation. His eyesight has also deteriorated significantly since his arrest.”.