CRIMINAL CASE ON BEATING OF AGIL KHALIL CLOSED WITHOUT FILING OF CHARGES

May 22nd, 2008

The criminal case on the beating of “Azadlig” Newspaper journalist Agil Khalil (Khalilov) in “Zeytun Baglari” (Olive Gardens) has been closed without the filing of any charges.

Turan News Agency reported this, citing information from the Chief Prosecutor’s Office.
Dagbeyi Allahverdiyev and Akif Chovdarov, who according to Turan are both high-ranking officers of Azerbaijan’s National Security Ministry, told investigators that some unknown person took their pictures while they were passing through “Zeytun Baglari” (Olive Gardens) on 22 February at approximately 5:00 pm.  
“Because of the character of their jobs they didn’t want their pictures taken and tried to get the photo camera from Agil whose name they came to know later. Then he stumbled, fell on his back, and started screaming,” according to the information disseminated by the Chief Prosecutor’s Office. 
The Chief Prosecutor’s Office also reports that “no objective signs of any kind of injury” was found on Khalil’s body during the forensic examination conducted on 18 March (Ed. note this is almost one month after the incident). The beating of Khalil wasn’t confirmed through the investigation materials, and that is why the criminal case is being closed without the press of any charges.
According to the Chief Prosecutor’s office, the alleged 7 May 2008 attempt to murder Khalil in the subway "28 May" Metro Station and kidnap him were not proven by investigative materials. A press release of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office’s press service it is stated that Khalil wasn’t in the metro station at the time at all, but entered the subway in “Elmler Akademiyasi” station at 8:50 pm and got out at “28 May” station at 21:10 pm. 
Also, the investigation into the criminal case conducted in the Grave Crimes Investigation Department of Chief Prosecutor's of Azerbaijan Republic related to moral and physical pressure against him and his family, torture, and the investigation of his appeal to Azerbaijan Republic Chief Prosecutor on the violation of law during investigation have also been closed without the pressing of any charges. 
“During the examinations conducted by the investigators on 3 and 4 April Agil Khalil’s parents Khuraman Khalilova and Ali Khalilov, his brother Kamil Khalilov stated that the investigation actions were conducted according to the legislation, no pressure was committed against them or Agil Khalil, and the latter didn’t receive any bodily injuries. Other participants of the criminal case including Agil Khalilov’s Defense lawyer Elchin Sadigov stated that he testified freely, Agil Khalil was not beaten, harassed, insulted or blackmailed, and those incidents weren’t found during the review of the video recordings of the investigation actions,” it is stated in the information. 
That is why Khalil’s appeal to start a criminal case on torture was rejected.
However, Chief Prosecutor’s Office once again confirmed the version of stabbing of Khalil on 13 March by Sergey Strekalin. The investigation states that some time ago Khalil and Strekalin had romantic relations.
A lawsuit has been filed against Strekalin under articles 127.1 (to cause minor serious health injury on purpose) and 234.1 (to obtain and stash narcotics illegally without intending to sell).
According to Turan News Agency, preliminary investigation continues to be conducted on the parts of criminal case about the accusations made against defendants Natig Allahverdiyev (Ministry of National Security employee Dagbeyi Allahverdiyev’s brother) and others under article 320.1 (the falsification of legal documents). 
IRFS contacted Agil Khalil about this issue. He said that this makes him to laugh bitterly. He evaluated this as an impudent step by the Prosecutor’s Office and stated that this is a set up investigation. “Their falsification of the testimonies of my parents and my defense lawyer proves this once more. They unmask themselves,” he added. 
Khalil’s defense lawyer Elchin Sadigov said that something filthy stands behind the information distributed by the Prosecutor’s Office. 
“The information distributed by the Prosecutor’s Office is totally erroneous and black PR carried out to conceal the illegality of the investigation,” he said. “They used my name as well. They did everything they could to prevent the people who were accountable for 22 Febryary “Zeytun BaglarI” incident to be involved in the criminal case. This evidently shows that there’s no organ in Azerbaijan that can or dare to call these people into account,” Sadigov added and emphasized that the Prosecutor’s office pressures against the court this way.
“I will appeal to the court regarding this statement in a few days,” the lawyer said.