Journalist Rasim Aliyev’s Murder Case: Forensic Pathologist Says He Issued Opinion on Journalist’s Death Based on Documents Submitted by Investigating Authority
Summary: Hearing 8 (February 16)
Ø Forensic pathologist Alim Huseynov testified that he examined the body and issued an opinion on August 20, 2015, but at this time, the medical documents relating to Rasim Aliyev’s examination and treatment in Clinical Medical Center had not been given to him;
Ø The other forensic pathologist, Ziyafeddin Mammadov, said he had given his opinion dated October 13, 2015 based on the medical documents presented by the investigating authority, without personally examining the body;
Ø Fariz Namazli, the lawyer for the late journalist, filed a motion to include Rasim Aliyev’s August 8, 2015 video interview with journalists, conducted hours before his death, in the case file. The motion was sustained;
Ø Namazli further pointed out that the statement taken from Rasim Aliyev at Clinical Medical Center on August 8, 2015 by the employees of Police Office #8 was not among the case materials, and filed a motion to obtain the statement and to summon the investigator for interrogation. The judge partially granted the motion and said that a request would be sent to Police Office #8, asking that the statement be submitted.
Baku Grave Crimes Court, chaired by judge Eldar Ismayilov, continued the hearing on the criminal case launched into the murder of the former IRFS chairman and journalist Rasim Aliyev, who died in hospital after being brutally assaulted in August 2015. Five men are on trial for their involvement in the journalist’s murder. Under the indictment, Kanan Madatov, Jamal Mammadov and Samir Mustafayev are charged under Article 126.3 (deliberately causing serious harm to health entailing imprudence causing the death of a victim), while Elshan Ismayilov, the cousin of footballer Javid Huseynov, and Arif Aliyev are charged under Articles 126.3 (deliberately causing serious harm to health entailing imprudence causing the death of a victim) and 177.1 (theft) of the Criminal Code.
Interrogation of forensic experts:
Alim Huseynov, from the Sabail District Department of Forensic Medical Examination and Pathological Anatomy Union was questioned at today’s hearing. Huseynov had issued the preliminary expert opinion on August 20, 2015. He said today that he had issued the opinion after examining the body, which, according to him, did not bear visible traces of injury. “Documents on the initial examination of Rasim Aliyev were not presented to me when I was drawing up the opinion. I issued the opinion based solely on the results of the post-mortem. As a result of the autopsy, I determined that the cause of the late Rasim Aliyev’s death was cardiopulmonary failure developed in parallel with acute internal hemorrhage, caused by the complex trauma brought about by the blows sustained,” stated Alim Huseynov.
The late journalist’s lawyer Fariz Namazli, asked him, ‘Did Rasim Aliyev’s body bear traces of surgery?’ and ‘Can you determine whether the doctors’ intervention, if any, was timely?’. Alim Huseynov replied that he had come across traces of surgical intervention but that he could not determine whether or not the doctors had intervened in a timely manner.
Ziyafeddin Mammadov, the expert who had written the panel’s forensic medical examination report of October 13, 2015, also testified at the hearing. Mammadov stated that he had not personally viewed Rasim Aliyev’s body, and had prepared the expert opinion based on the medical documents presented by the investigating authority. “It was evident from the documents that Rasim Aliyev had not been operated on immediately, as he did not have any problems at the time of his examination in the hospital. The relevant examinations, treatments and surgical operation were conducted in line with the guidelines available in the healthcare system. Based on the documents presented to me, I concluded that the cause of the death was acute pulmonary and cardiovascular failure which developed due to pulmonary contusion and collateral internal bleeding, caused by rupture of the spleen and pancreatic tail injury,” said Ziyafeddin Mammadov.
The late journalist’s lawyer Fariz Namazli filed several motions during the hearing. He pointed out that although employees of Police Office #8 had taken a statement from Rasim Aliyev at Clinical Medical Center on August 8, 2015, the statement was not included in the case file. The lawyer requested that the statement be obtained from the police and that the investigator be summoned for interrogation. The judge partially granted the motion and said that Police Office #8 would be asked to submit Rasim Aliyev’s statement.
Fariz Namazli filed a further motion requesting that Rasim Aliyev’s video interview with journalists, conducted on August 8, 2015, hours before his death, be included in the case file and be examined by the court. The court sustained this motion and decided to review the footage at the next hearing.
The trial will continue on February 23.