Hearing Held in Disbarred Lawyer’s Case

June 23rd, 2016

elayif

Summary: Hearing 3

 At the hearing, plaintiff’s representative Khalid Bagirov filed a verbal motion to send an information request on whether or not other convicted practicing lawyers had been disbarred under Article 23 of the Law on Advocates and Advocate’s Activity. The judge denied the motion;
 Khalid Bagirov filed a motion to interrogate the 11 members, who had allegedly participated in the meeting of the Bar, in court. Defendant’s representative Altay Muradov commented on the motion by saying that summoning and interrogation of a lawyer was unacceptable, because “as stated in Article 1 of the Law on Advocates and Advocate’s Activity, interference into the professional activity of advocates and their associations and exercise of pressure on them by prosecutorial, judicial and other state authorities or officials should not be allowed.” After an on-the-bench deliberation, the court rejected the motion;
 Khalid Bagirov filed a motion to send an inquiry to the Constitutional Court to clarify the contradiction between Article 8 (advocate) and Article 23 (termination of the activity of an advocate) of the Law on Advocates and Advocate’s Activity. Alayif Hasanov said he defended the motion and on his own initiative filed a new motion to summon Irada Javadova to the court. The judge dismissed this motion, too.

Baku Administrative Economic Court #1, chaired by Judge Elchin Mammadov, held a hearing on Alayif Hasanov’s lawsuit against Bar Association, requesting the annulment of the decision dated July 3, 2015 on his disbarment and termination of his lawyer activity. Bar Association Presidium made the decision to disbar Alayif Hasanov citing the court verdict on his conviction. The verdict in question was delivered based on the lawsuit of Nuriyya Huseynova, who had been human rights defender Leyla Yunus’ cellmate in Kurdakhani detention center. At the time, Alayif Hasanov was Leyla Yunus’ lawyer. In her messages to the public, which she passed on via her lawyer, Leyla Yunus stated that Nuriyya Huseynova, an ex-convict, was put in the same cell as her on purpose and that Nuriyya had beaten her. Nuriyya Huseynova sued the lawyer because of this, and Alayif Hasanov was convicted under Articles 147 and 148 (insult and libel) of Criminal Code. In November 2014, Alayif Hasanov was sentenced to 240 hours of community work. His sentence was later upheld by Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. On that ground, Bar Association disbarred Alayif Hasanov. However, Hasanov believes that the decision is politically motivated. He considers his disbarment to be part of the pressures against the lawyers, who defend the rights of political prisoners and are critical of the country’s judicial system.

Comments on the plaintiff’s motion:

At the hearing, Bar Association representative Altay Muradov submitted written comments on plaintiff Alayif Hasanov and his representative’s motion filed at the previous hearing, which requested that copies of the protocol of the Bar Association Presidium meeting on terminating Alayif Hasanov’s lawyer activity, the meeting’s transcript and its decision and documents on other convicted lawyers be presented to the court.

Regarding submission of the decision dated July 3, 2015 on termination of Alayif Hasanov’s lawyer activity, Muradov said that termination of Alayif Hasanov’s lawyer activity had not been documented as a separate decision, but noted in the meeting protocol only.

“Termination of Alayif Hasanov’s lawyer activity was confirmed by the protocol of the meeting attended by 11 members of the Presidium. The said meeting was not video recorded. It was put to vote and all of the members voted for it. An excerpt from the meeting protocol has been presented to the court. The protocol of the meeting, at which the decision of July 3, 2015 on termination of Alayif Hasanov’s lawyer activity was made, was not transcribed. As to submission of the document on convicted practicing lawyers to the court, I should say that I have already presented the document on two convicted but active lawyers to the court,” Altay Muradov said.

Decision on the motion:

The judge said that the motion was not granted. As a justification, he said that as the termination of Alayif Hasanov’s activity was not a separate decision, submission of a non-existent document was impossible. “About convicted but active lawyers and the letter that accompanied the verdict on Alayif Hasanov’s conviction during its submission to the Bar Association, the representative has already provided information,” the judge said.

Plaintiff’s motions:

Afterwards, Alayif Hasanov’s lawyer Khalid Bagirov filed a verbal motion. “Please send an inquiry to the Bar Association on whether or not other convicted practicing lawyers have been disbarred under Article 23 of the Law on Advocates and Advocate’s Activity,” Bagirov said.

Khalid Bagirov’s other verbal motion was about interrogation of the 11 Bar members, who were allegedly present in the Bar Association meeting, in court.

“Summoning and interrogation of a lawyer is unacceptable, because as stated in Article 1 of the Law on Advocates and Advocate’s Activity, interference into the professional activity of advocates and their associations and exercise of pressure on them by prosecutorial, judicial and other state authorities or officials should not be allowed. Each Presidium member votes at his own discretion. To summon him and ask why he voted is groundless. It’s an interference with the professional activity of a lawyer. Therefore this motion is also groundless, and please do not grant it,” Altay Muradov said while commenting on the motion.

The court rejected the motion after an on-the-bench deliberation.

Khalid Bagirov filed one more motion, which was about sending an inquiry to the Constitutional Court to clarify the contradiction between Article 8 (advocate) and Article 23 (termination of the activity of an advocate) of the Law on Advocates and Advocate’s Activity. “You did not grant our two motions. Now I file a third one. According to Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the Law, persons whose conviction for the commission of less serious, serious and particularly serious crimes has not been executed or discharged and in whose regard there exist a court decision cannot be advocates. And, Article 23 of the Law lists the circumstances under which lawyer activity may be terminated. One of those circumstances is the existence, in respect of the advocate, of a valid guilty verdict or a court decision on application of compulsory medical measures. It is specifically shown in Article 8 of the Law that “for intentional commission of a less serious, serious or particularly serious crime.” We believe that there are contradictions between the two articles of the Law. Therefore, exercising our right under Article 130 of the Constitution, we ask you to send an inquiry to the Constitutional Court for the interpretation of both Articles of the Law,” Bagirov said.

The judge said this motion was also rejected.

The next court hearing was set for July 14, 15.00.