Hilal Mammadov objected to closed trial

January 30th, 2013

The trial of arrested chief editor of Talishy-Sado newspaper Hilal Mammadov was reopened at Baku Grave Crimes Court on January 30. Judge Azer Orujov presided over the hearing. Hilal Mammadov, his lawyers Ramiz Mammadov, Khalid Bagirov, Anar Gasimli, Javad Javadov and Yalchin Imanov, and public prosecutor Tural Yusifov attended the hearing, Hilal Mammadov filed a petition with the courtsaying that he restricts the authority of his attorneys until his trial is held completely open to the public. “It should not be understood as my refusal from attorneys” said Mammadov. He also declared that he would object to the composition of jury unless his petition was granted. And if he was taken to the court mandatorily, he would turn his face to the wall and not speak.

The judge objected to the petition, saying that Mammadov did not have the right to restrict the authority of his lawyers. At this point Mammadov’s lawyers filed a petition asking the court to appeal to the Constitutional Court to check whether Mammadov’s petition contradicted the law or not. The lawyer’s petition was also denied by the judge, who announced a break in the trial until 2pm.

After the break none of the attorneys attended the second round of the hearing which was held closed.

Background:

 The chief editor of Talishy-Sado newspaper, Hilal Mammadov, was arrested on June 21, 2012 on charges of drug possession. On June 22 Nizami District Court sentenced Mammadov to 3 months of pre-trial detention under Article 234.4.3 of the Criminal Code (illegal possession of drugs). On July 3rd, Mammadov faced new charges under Articles 274 (high treason) and 283 (incitement of national, racial, social and religious hatred, hostility, and ethnic discrimination).