A court hearing was held in Facebook activist Abdul Abilov’s case at Baku Court of Grave Crimes on April 24. Judge Ahmad Guliyev presided over the hearing.
The hearing started with announcement of the indictment by the public prosecutor Ramin Nagdaliyev.
In his testimony, Muzaffar Mammadov, an officer with the Organized Crime Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs who led the operation group which detained Abilov, said that when the police stopped Abilov and asked if he had any illegal items, the defendant pulled added that Abilov then told them that he had another packet at home, after which the operatives went to his house and thout a packet of drugs from his pocket saying that he had found it. Mammadov e accused took another packet out of his jacket pocket.
According to the operative, Abilov asked not to disturb his family, to go to the police office and write a protocol there.
Mammadov denied conduction of filming during the search operation. In response to the defense lawyer’s question regarding a relevant note in the protocol, he said that this note was copied by mistake while a text was being copied from another criminal case.
The youth activist himself said he had been arrested for political motives and his Facebook activity. “During the investigation I was asked nothing about the drugs. They asked about my relations with Ali Karimli and Jamil Hasanli,” said Abilov.
To the lawyer’s question what was the link between drugs and seizure of the activist’s laptop, none of the seven Organized Crime Department officers was able to give a clear answer.
When another operative Ibrahim Kazimov took the stand, Abilov said this man had not participated in the search, but beat him with truncheon at the Organized Crime Department and forced him to confess.
The judge’s attempts to “remind” the details to the witness caused discontent in the hall. Journalist Khadija Ismayilova was removed from the court room for pointing this out.
While being questioned a circumstantial witness could not give information about his work place and could not describe Abilov’s house.
The trial will continue on May 1.
Background: Abdul Abilov was admin of the Facebook page “Let’s Say No to Flatterers” known for sharp criticisms of the authorities. He was detained on November 22, 2013 and charged with illegal possession, storage, manufacturing or sale of drugs which stipulates a prison sentence for up to twelve years.