Journalist Tofig Yagublu files appeal against conviction

April 4th, 2014


The columnist of Yeni Musavat newspaper Tofig Yagublu, who has recently been sentenced to 5 years in jail in connection with 2013 Ismayilli riot, has filed an appeal against conviction, his lawyer Nemat Karimli told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety on April 4.

The lawyer said the appeal requests acquittal of the journalist.

“We noted violation of the Articles 5 (Right to liberty and security), 6 (Right to a fair trial) and 14 (Prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and requested a compensation at an amount of 200,000 manat. I have partially read the court protocol and can argue that the verdict is faulty, because there are some points in the protocol that are in favor of my client, but they have not been included in the judgment, neither were the proofs and testimonies, which again were in his favor. Thus the essence of the case has been manipulated,” said the lawyer.

Background: Tofig Yagublu was charged under Articles 233 and 315 of the Criminal Code, for allegedly calling on the protesters in Ismayilli to disobey and resist the police and block the roads, during his visit to the region on January 24. On 4 February 2013, Nasimi District Court of Baku ordered him to serve 2 months in pretrial detention, where he remained until conviction. On April 27, one of the previous two charges filed against Yagublu, “organizing public disorder” (Article 233), was replaced by that of “organizing or participating in mass disorders accompanied by violence, looting, arson, destruction of property, application of fire-arms or explosives, or armed resistance against representative of authority” (Article 220.1) which stipulated much tougher punishment. On 17 March 2014, Shaki Court of Grave Crimes sentenced Yagublu to 5 years in prison.