Journalist Fikrat Faramazoglu Trial: Defence Claims Fake Signature on Investigative Agency Protocol

December 6th, 2016

Fikret25

Summary: Hearing 2 (6 December)

  • Fikrat Faramazoglu, the Editor-in-Chief of the Journalistic Research Centre (jam.az) news website, was arrested on 30 June 2016. Charged under Article 182 (extortion) of the Criminal Code, he has been held in pre-trial detention since 2 July 2016.
  • Defense attorney Elchin Sadigov filed a motion to question the authenticity of the signature on the search warrant. The lawyer requested a handwriting analysis to determine whether the signatures on the search warrant was Faramazoglu’s. The motion was denied.

Baku Grave Crimes Court, chaired by Judge Eldar Mikayilov, held a preliminary hearing on the criminal case against Fikrat Faramazoglu, the Editor-in-Chief of the Journalistic Research Centre (jam.az) news website. Faramazoglu was arrested on 30 June 2016, and has been charged under Article 182 (extortion) of the Criminal Code. On 2 July 2016, Narimanov District Court ordered that he be placed in pre-trial detention.

The defendant’s lawyers Elchin Sadigov and Javad Javadov, public prosecutor Erkin Gafarov, and victims Mehman Hasanov, Shirin Abdullayev and Bakhshali Gahramanov were in attendance.

Elchin Sadigov filed a motion to conduct a handwriting analysis to determine whether the signatures on the search warrant belonged to Fikrat Faramazoglu.

The journalist’s other lawyer, Javad Javadov, noted that the journalist had looked at the warrant and stated that the signatures were not his. Therefore, the lawyer asked the court to grant the motion for a handwriting analysis.

The public prosecutor, however, argued that the court had not yet made decision on the sequence of examining the evidence, and thus, the motion had to be rejected.

The victims claimed that Fikrat Faramazoglu was present when the minutes were being drawn up, and so the motion could not be granted.

The court dismissed the motion on the basis that the sequence of evidence examination had not yet been decided.

Afterwards, the presiding judge asked the injured parties whether they had financial claims against the defendant. The victims said they did, and the judge gave them one week to submit their civil claims to the court.

The next hearing was set for 15 December, 3 pm.