HEARING HELD ON LAWSUIT AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER

July 15th, 2010

Today, 15 July, in the Yasamal Distirct Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Khagani Tagiyev, a hearing was held on the special format lawsuit of Goychay Regional Police Department Former Chief Vugar Mammadyarov, Goychay Regional Police Department

Chief Inspector on Administrative Prosecutions Bakhtiyar Hashimov and Goychay Regional Police Department Investigation Department Chief Rufat Ibayev against the Assistance to Defense of Democracy Public Union Chairman and human rights defender, Vidadi Isgandarov.

 

The plaintiffs believed Isgandarov insulted them in the article entitled “Police got a 3000 AZN bribe from me” that was published in Azadlig newspaper on 2 April. They filed special format lawsuits against him under article 147.2 (slandering by accusing someone of grave or especially grave crimes) of the Criminal Code.

 

Defendant Vidadi Isgandarov and the plaintiffs’ lawyer Alirza Habilov participated in the hearing today.

Isgandarov said that the opinions that the plaintiffs considered as insults were voiced at a press conference by Goychay regional residents whose rights were violated.

 

“Even though the lawsuit claims that these opinions were expressed by the region’s resident Gudrat Zulfugarov, they filed the lawsuit against me,” said Isgandarov. “The lawsuit contains several opinions that were articulated by residents. Therefore, the lawsuit is unfounded.”

 

Then he noted that his father’s home in Goychay was subjected to an attack after the press conference was held. He added that the plaintiff Vugar Mammadyarov committed this attack and that he had met with the Internal Minister regarding this issue. Isgandarov filed a motion to allow Minister Ramil Usubov and Chief Prosecutor Zakir Garalov to come to court as witnesses. The judge responded that such a motion is not allowed because it is not relevant to the present case.

 

Then, the defendant asked the plaintiffs' representative questions..Isgandarov repeated his motion when a question arose regarding the attack on his father’s house. The judge and the defendant had an argument after the judge denied the motion again. Isgandarov stated that the judge was trying to act in favor of the plaintiffs’ interests and that the judge threatened him with an arrest before the hearing had begun. Therefore, he objected against the conduct of the court.  Judge Tagiyev said that Isgandarov slandered him and that he did not accept the objection because it was not submitted in written form.

 

The judge scheduled the next hearing on this case for 26 July at 3:30 p.m.

 

IRFS notes that at the beginning of June, Vugar Mammadyarov was dismissed from his post at Goychay Regional Police Department. He was then appointed to the Chairman of the State Road Police’s Shirvan City Registration Examination Department.