April 22nd, 2011
On 22 April, the Sumgayit City Court held a preliminary hearing on criminal case launched against Azerbaijan Popular Front Party member Jabbar Savalanli who has been charged with drug possession. Judge Ilgar Mammadov presided over the hearing.

Youth activist Jabbar Savalanli, his lawyers Anar Gasimov, Asabali Mustafayev and state plaintiff Movlud Osmanov attended the hearing.

Lawyer Asabali Mustafayev filed a motion to allow the youth activist to sit by close to his legal team, instead of behind bars in the courtroom. Judge Ilgar Mammadov  granted the motion.
The defendant’s side then claimed that there was a disputed expert opinion on Savalanli’s case materials, and required removal of preliminary testimony of Savalanli and the drugs examination report from the evidence list, and there was also a motion for the release of the activist from prison due to the expiration of pre-trial detention on April 5. The judge said that motions will be discussed during the next hearing. The next hearing was scheduled for 29 April, at 12:00 p.m.


Azerbaijan Popular Front Party member Jabbar Savalanli was arrested on February 5, 2011. He is being charged with drug possession, but it is widely thought that his arrest was politically motivated, linked to criticism of the government he posted on social networking sites.