On February 17th, Sumgayit City Court heard a lawsuit against the police officers accused of violations of protocol during the arrest and interrogation of the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party youth member Jabbar Savalanli, who has been charged with drug possession. Judge Elman Mammadov presided over the hearing.
The closed hearing lasted until 7:50 pm. Savalanli`s lawyers Anar Gasimov and Ashabali Mustafayev were present.
Gasimov told Objective TV that their appeal for a different judge, filed during the previous hearing, had been rejected.
The lawyers also requested that Savalanli be un-handcuffed and allowed to sit by them, instead of behind bars in the courtroom. The Judge passed this motion. Then Sumgayit City Deputy Police Chief Azer Jahangirov and Jabbar Savalanli both testified. The lawyer was unable to give details of the testimonies.
The next hearing on will be held on February 22nd.
Jabbar Savalanli was arrested on February 5, in front of his apartment building. He is being charged with possession of narcotics. Sumgayit District Court sentenced him to 2 months of pre-trial detention.
Local human rights organizations and youth organizations believe that the arrest was political and that Savalanli is being punished for his criticism of the ruling regime.