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The Nasimi District Court is extending journalist Tofig Yagublu’s detention period for a further three months, journalist’s lawyer Nemat Karimli told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety today. The decision was made in a closed court hearing today; judge Shahin Abdullayev presided over the hearing.
According to the lawyer, the petition made by the First Deputy Prosecutor General, Rustem Usubov was reviewed at today’s proceeding.
“The petition stated that once freed (on bail or house arrest) Yagublu can flee abroad, to which the journalist responded that he is unwilling to go anywhere and intends to stay in the country and defend his rights. We then asked the court to allow Yagublu come out of the courtroom cage and sit next to his lawyer. The judge granted this petition. We then requested that the evidences presented to the court be announced, but the opposite party could only show the court decisions on Tofig Yagublu and the warrant of their lawyer” said the lawyer, who intends to appeal against the decision.
Background: Tofig Yagublu was arrested on February 4th 2013, for allegedly attempting to undermine stability in Ismayilli region by calling on the locals to resist the police and block the roads, during his visit to the region on January 24. He was eventually sentenced to two months of pretrial detention by Nasimi District Court on charges of “organizing public disorder” (Article 233 of the Criminal Code) and “resisting the representative of authorities or using violence against them” (Article 315 of the Criminal Code). Yagublu’s appeal against the decision was denied by the Baku Appeals Court on February 8. On April 27th one of the previous two charges filed against Yagublu, “organizing public disorder” (Article 233/Criminal Code), 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/Criminal Code) which carries a maximum of 12 years imprisonment. Yagublu is currently held at Baku detention center awaiting trial.