Journalist Rasim Aliyev’s Murder Case: Footballer Javid Huseynov Sentenced to 4 Years in Jail

May 31st, 2016

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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.
At today’s court hearing, the judge announced the judgment sentencing Javid Huseynov to 4 years in jail. The judge also ordered that the measure of pretrial detention against Javid Huseynov would remain unchanged.
At the hearing held on May 11, 2016, the public prosecutor had asked the court to sentence Huseynov to a total prison term of 4 years; specifically, 1.5 years under Article 307.1 (failure to inform [the authorities] about a serious crime, despite of being aware of its preparation or enactment) of Criminal Code and 2.5 years under Article 307.2 (concealment of a serious crime without a prior consent).
Taking the prosecutor’s request on board, the court imposed a total jail sentence of 4 years.
Background: On July 25, 2015, Rasim Aliyev received threatening messages on the social networking website Odnoklassniki. He was shown the images that he had shot while working for IRFS and was told that he would have to answer for them. On July 26, 2015, Rasim Aliyev appealed to Sabail District Police Office #8, informing them of the death threats. However, police failed to take action to protect his life. On August 08, 2015, Rasim Aliyev was brutally assaulted by a group of 5-6 men, who took his phone and wallet. Rasim Aliyev drove to the emergency care in his car, from where he was taken to the city clinic #1. Rasim Aliyev was admitted to hospital at about 16.45 on August 8. Following an examination, doctors said that he had four broken ribs. He received intravenous pain medication and was placed in a ward. The medical staff failed to change his clothes in the ward. At about 1 o’clock at night, Rasim’s family was informed that he had to undergo an operation. When his family arrived at the hospital twenty minutes later, the doctor told them that the operation was over and that Rasim was in intensive care. Shortly afterwards, they were told that Rasim had passed away. His body was sent to the Republican Hospital for expert examination.
Baku City Prosecutor’s Office launched a criminal case under Article 126.3 of the Criminal Code (deliberate causing of serious harm to health, resulting in the death of the victim). Javid Huseynov’s cousin Elshan Ismayilov and four other men by names Jamal Mammadov, Arif Aliyev, Kanan Madatov and Samir Mustafayev were arrested. Javid Huseynov himself was detained for 3 months under articles 307.1 (failure to inform about a serious crime, despite of being aware of its preparation or committal) and 307.2 (concealment of a serious crime without a prior promise). Note that on August 6, Javid Huseynov was interviewed by journalists after the Gabala-Apollo (Cyprus) match of the third qualification round of Europe League. According to the media, Huseynov first called on the journalists, who criticized him for his obscene gesture made during the first leg match, to take a blood test, trying to indirectly hint that those, who criticized him, had Armenian blood in their vessels. Huseynov then acted disrespectfully towards a Cypriot journalist, who asked him why he raised a Turkish flag. Besides telling him in English that “Turks are my friends”, Huseynov made an obscene gesture to our colleague with his hand. The moment was captured by cameras .
Sharing this news on his Facebook page, Rasim Aliyev wrote the following words in his post: “I don’t want such an immoral and ill-mannered footballer, who cannot control himself, to represent me in European stadiums.” After that, Javid Huseynov and his relatives called Rasim Aliyev and Javid’s cousin invited him to a meeting. The moments of beating of Rasim Aliyev, who went to the meeting alone, were fully recorded by the security camera installed for the sake of public order.
Note that journalist Rasim Aliyev was a member of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety since the day of its establishment in 2006. After IRFS Chairman Emin Huseynov was forced to go into hiding to avoid arbitrary criminal prosecution last August, Rasim Aliyev was elected the chairman of IRFS in the autumn of 2014 at a report-election conference. The Ministry of Justice was officially informed about the change of IRFS chairman. Although Aliyev was not actually working for IRFS as its projects were stopped due to the suspension of bank accounts, the confiscation of its equipment and documents and the sealing of its office, he remained the chairman of IRFS until his death.