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Rufat Safarov, a former investigator of Zerdab regional Prosecutor’s Office, was sentenced to 9 years in jail as his trial in Lankaran Grave Crimes Court came to a close. Rufat Safarov resigned from the prosecution authorities on 20 December 2015 due to what he described as rampant lawlessness and human rights violations in the country, but he was discharged by the order of the Prosecutor General, Zakir Garalov. According to the order, Rufat Safarov has been dismissed from prosecution authorities for committing acts incompatible with the position of a prosecutor or investigator at prosecution authorities and grossly violating Article 34 of the Law of Azerbaijan Republic on Prosecutor’s Office and Articles 30 and 31 of the “Code of Ethical Conduct of Employees of Prosecutor’s Office of Azerbaijan Republic.” Later, Rufat Safarov was charged under Article 311.3.2 (repeated bribe-taking) of the Criminal Code. He was ordered detained on 15 January 2016, but was released under house arrest on January 22. Rufat Safarov is the son of former Defense Ministry spokesman, ex-MP Eldar Sabiroglu.
At the hearing, Rufat Safarov asked the court to give him ten days to prepare the defence speech, but the court deemed his request as an attempt to deliberately protract the trial and refused to postpone the hearing.
After a short break, Rufat Safarov’s lawyer Bahruz Bayramov made a speech. He said Rufat Safarov was innocent and asked for his acquittal.
During the hearing, Rufat Safarov requested the court to allot him time for final speech, but his request was denied.
The court announced that Rufat Safarov refused to make a speech, and the judges went to the deliberation room to deliver the judgment.
After the deliberation, the judgment was declared. According to the judgment, Rufat Safarov was sentenced to 9 years in jail, and was arrested in the courtroom. Rufat Safarov had previously been released under house arrest for the duration of the investigation and the trial.
The prosecutor was seeking a 10-year prison sentence for Safarov.