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· Tear gas was used in a courtroom in the Baku Grave Crimes Court in response to emotional outbursts and physical attacks that took place during the hearing.
· Attorney Fariz Namazli and relatives of the accused demand that medical staff of hospital where Rasim Aliyev died after beating are interrogated; the court denied the motion filed by Namazli.
· Namazli also called for the witness who saw Rasim Aliyev at the hospital before his death to be interrogated. The motion was denied by the court.
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, journalist Rasim Aliyev, who died in the hospital after a brutal physical assault on August 2015. Five men are standing trial in relation to 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, who is the footballer Javid Huseynov’s cousin, 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.
The hearing started with testimonies by prosecution witnesses. After that, Fariz Namazli, the lawyer of the victim’s legal heir, filed a motion requesting that the doctors and nurses who treated Rasim Aliyev at the City Clinical Hospital #1 and the people who saw him at the hospital be interrogated as additional witnesses.
“It is important for the court to hear the testimonies of the late journalist’s hospital ward mate Ramil Gurbatov, the ultrasonographer of the Clinical Medical Center’s Surgical Department Arzu Rustamova, Professor of the Surgical Department of Azerbaijan Medical University Saday Aliyev, Docent of the Surgical Department of Azerbaijan Medical University Babak Zeynalov, Head of the Department of Radiology and Diagnostics of the Clinical Medical Center Tamara Hajiyeva, surgeon of the First Surgical Department of the Clinical Medical Center Ali Ismayilov, Head of the Anesthesiology Department of the Clinical Medical Center Fatali Fataliyev, duty doctor from the same department Elnara Niftaliyeva, nurses Sudaba Tagiyeva and Zohra Gaziyeva, and doctor of the Department of Surgical Intensive Care of the Clinical Medical Center Fazil Aliyev. These people were interrogated during the preliminary investigation, and their testimonies will help determine when Rasim Aliyev was operated on, and whether his death was caused by the injuries he sustained or whether he died during the operation. We also want the court to hear the testimonies of Mehman Huseynov, Aydin Mahmudov and Mammadali Aliyev, who last saw Rasim Aliyev at the hospital,” stated the lawyer in his motion.
The public prosecutor said the doctors were not guilty and that there was no need to interrogate the persons referred to in the motion as additional witnesses.
Judge Eldar Ismayilov denied the motion. The parents of the defendants began to shout and hurl around their chairs in protest, demanding that the doctors be summoned and the cause of the journalist’s death be investigated. The defendants also began to strike their fists against the glass-encased booth in which they were being held, breaking the glass. The court guards tried to expel the parents from the courtroom, but did not succeed. They used tear gas in response to the chaos.
After the hearing was over, the defendants’ parents went to the Presidential Administration to complain. There, they expressed their dissatisfaction over the way the trial was handled, alleging that it is politically motivated.