Journalist Rasim Aliyev’s Murder Case: Defence Rejects the Charges
Summary: Hearing 2 (February 10)
Ø Defendant Javid Huseynov pleaded not guilty and rejected the charges;
Ø Javid Huseynov’s lawyer Adam Mammadov filed a motion to give journalists access to the court hearing, which was granted by the court;
Ø According to the indictment, Javid Huseynov was aware that Elshan Ismayilov and his friends were going to assault Rasim Aliyev, and after the beating, Javid Huseynov failed to report this to law enforcement agencies and concealed the crime .
Sabail District Court, chaired by judge Elman Rahimov, held a hearing on the criminal case against the footballer Javid Huseynov, who is being prosecuted in connection with the death of journalist Rasim Aliyev. He has been charged under articles 307.1 (failure to inform [officials] about a serious crime, despite of being aware of its preparation or committal) and 307.2 (concealing the crime) of the Criminal Code. Javid Huseynov has been arraigned on suspicion that he was aware of the crime committed by his cousin Elshan Ismayilov, the key figure in the murder of the journalist, and his four accomplices Arif Aliyev, Kanan Madatov, Jamal Mammadov and Samir Mustafayev, who are charged with aggravated assault leading to the victim’s death. The five accused men stand a separate trial, which is presently underway in Baku Grave Crimes Court.
Judge Elman Rahimov opened the judicial investigation of the criminal case. Initially, the media was barred from the hearing. However, the defendant’s lawyer, Adam Mammadov, filed a motion to allow journalists to enter the courtroom, which the judge granted.
The lawyer’s next motion was on the refusal of the services of Javid Huseynov’s state-appointed attorney. Javid Huseynov expressed his support for the motion. The judge also granted this motion.
Announcement of the indictment by the public prosecutor:
The public prosecutor read out the indictment at the hearing. “According to the indictment, Javid Huseynov was aware that Elshan Ismayilov and others (Jamal Mammadov, Samir Mustafayev, Kanan Madatov, and Arif Aliyev) were planning to assault Rasim Aliyev, and failed to inform the law enforcement agencies.
After the incident, he failed to report this crime to law enforcement agencies.”
Defendant Javid Huseynov’s testimony:
Javid Huseynov’s testimony stated: “I do not accept the indictment in full. I will speak on facts and evidence. I will prove that the public prosecutor’s opinions are not true.
After the Europe League group match on August 6, 2015, a Greek journalist asked me why I had draped Turkish flag over my shoulders on the field. I made a hand gesture to show him that [Azerbaijan] and Turkey are friends and brotherly states. Elshan Ismayilov [who is accused of beating Rasim Aliyev and causing his eventual death] had a screenshot of Rasim Aliyev’s Facebook post about me, which he sent to me via WhatsApp on August 8, 2015. In that post, Rasim Aliyev wrote ‘I don’t want to go to Europe with an immoral, uncivilized and boorish footballer.’ I am not immoral. It is a fact that my father went to fight for Nagorno-Karabakh leaving his three children at home. I am a well-bred and decent person. I told Elshan to not pay attention, either. Elshan said ‘no, he cursed me personally, don’t get involved – this is my problem now.’ Seeing this, I got Rasim Aliyev’s number from Elshan and phoned a journalist for the first time in my life.
I introduced myself politely and explained the meaning of my hand gesture in the video. We talked calmly, and he understood me and even apologized at the end. I said, “don’t apologize to me, just post a retraction on Facebook and that will do.” I also wrote a text message to Elshan telling him that I had sorted things out. After the training, I was browsing the internet when I came across a news item that read “Javid Huseynov’s relatives have assaulted a journalist.” At that moment, my manager phoned me saying, “journalists are asking me about the physical assault of Rasim Aliyev by your relatives.” On August 8, I visited Rasim Aliyev at the hospital together with my manager. At the hospital, Rasim told me that the persons, who had assaulted him, had also taken his wallet and phone. I said I would ask Elshan Ismayilov about it.
I learned about Rasim Aliyev’s death when I was travelling to Gabala city on August 9. I texted Elshan, telling him to, “go, surrender and tell everything as it happened.” I was stopped at Shamakhi traffic police post and brought to Baku. Before the court, I declare that I have not committed any crime. On the contrary, I have been detained for 6 months despite my innocence. Who will answer for this? I’ll serve 3-5 years because of some slanderous allegations, but who will make this up to me and to my family?”
The next hearing will take place on February 24, at 12.00pm.