Journalist Rasim Aliyev’s Murder Case: Defense Witnesses Questioned

May 4th, 2016

Summary: Hearing 7 (May 04)

  • At the hearing, defense witness Sabuhi Safiyarli testified that he heard about the beating of Rasim Aliyev from the journalists who phoned him on August 08 2015, and that he had gone to the hospital with Javid Huseynov to find out more about the incident;

  • Defense witness Zafar Abbasov told the court that he had read about the beating of journalist Rasim Aliyev on the internet at around 9pm on August 08 2015;

  • Javid Huseynov filed a motion at the hearing. He noted that there were contradictions in the statement that witness Aydin Mahmudov provided to the investigating agency, which had been read out at the previous hearing, and requested that this statement be removed from the list of evidence. The motion was not sustained;

  • Javid Huseynov’s lawyer filed a motion asking the court to ensure witness Aydin Mahmudov’s participation in the hearing. The court granted the motion.

Elman Rahimov, the presiding judge at Sabail District Court, held a hearing on the criminal case against the football player Javid Huseynov, who is being prosecuted in connection with the death of journalist Rasim Aliyev. Huseynov stands charged under articles 307.1 (failure to inform [the authorities] about a serious crime, despite of being aware of its preparation or enactment) and 307.2 (concealment of a serious crime without a prior consent) of the Criminal Code. Five men, including a relative of Javid Huseynov were sentenced in relation to the murder case. On April 01, 2016, the Baku Grave Crimes Court. sentenced Elshan Ismayilov to 13 years, Arif Aliyev to 12.5 years, Jamal Mammadov to 11 years, Kanan Madatov to 9 years, and Samir Mustafayev to 9 years in jail.

Questioning of defense witnesses:

Gabala Football Club manager Sabuhi Safiyarli, called by the defense as an additional witness, testified at the hearing. The witness said that that he heard about the assault of Rasim Aliyev via a phone call journalists on August 08 2015, following which he went to the hospital with Javid Huseynov to find out more about the incident. “We did not see a doctor at the hospital while we were there. We saw the police officers, and Rasim’s friend wrote the statement instead of him. I gave my phone number to that friend of Rasim’s so that he could call me if anything was needed. The next day, we heard the news of Rasim Aliyev’s death,” said Sabuhi Safiyarli. 

The second witness to take the stand was Javid Huseynov’s relative Zafar Abbasov. The witness said that he had read about the assault online at around 9pm on August 08 2015. “After seeing the news, I sent Javid a message online, asking about his relation’s involvement in attacking the journalist. He said it was Elshan. Javid also said he had told Elshan that he had talked to the journalist and he would apologize and that Elshan should not get involved. However, Elshan acted off his own bat, and went and assaulted him. Javid has nothing to do with it,” said the witness.

Defense motions:

Javid Huseynov filed a motion at the hearing. He noted that there were contradictions in the statement that witness Aydin Mahmudov had provided to the investigating agency. This statement had been read out at the previous hearing. Huseynov requested that this statement be removed from the list of evidence. The motion was not sustained.

Javid Huseynov’s lawyer filed a motion asking the court to ensure the participation of witness Aydin Mahmudov in the hearing. The court granted the motion.

The next court hearing was set for May 11, 12.15pm.