On July 31 the Baku Grave Crimes Court held a hearing on the case of Tolishy Sado newspaper editor Hilal Mammadov. Judge Azer Orujov presided over the process. Before the start of the trial, members of the Committee for the protection of Hilal Mammadov’s rights and members of the public held a silent protest under slogans such as “Fair Trial for Hilal Mammadov!”, “Freedom to Hilal Mammadov”, “Stop Slandering Hilal Mammadov!”. The protest finished without intervention.
The petitions filed by the defense at the previous hearing, particularly those requesting the investigation of the death of one of the attesting witnesses, the verification of the fingerprints on the drug packets and the summoning and interrogation of investigator Jeyhun Karimov for due process violations, were discussed and rejected by the court.
Defense lawyers brought the necessity of re-interrogating the attesting witness to the attention of court. Judge Orujov said that his participation in the court cannot be provided as he is outside of the country. Therefore he suggested reading the witness’s statement and moving into the stage of the investigation of evidences. But the defense lawyers protested quoting the law as stating that statements of only dead individuals can serve as a testimony
The judge said that the issue will be discussed at the next sitting that will take place on August 7th, 10:30.
Background: Hilal Mammadov was arrested on June 21, 2012 and charged with illegal possession of drugs in large quantities (Article 234.4.3/Criminal Code), treason (Article 274/Criminal Code), and incitement to national, racial, social and religious hatred and hostility (Article 283/Criminal Code).