Lawyers Request Acquittal for Opposition Activist Arrested on Drug Charges

January 11th, 2017

On January 11th, Judge Azad Macidov presided over another trial date for the activist Elgiz Gahraman. Gahraman is an activist with the N!DA movement who was arrested on charges of drug possession, with intent to sell, on August 12th. The hearing took place at the Baku Grave Crimes Court in the capital.
After being initially detained on August 12th and receiving a pre-trial detainment sentencing on August 13th, his arrest was not made public until the 15th.

Fariz Namazli, Gahraman’s lawyer, gave a speech stating that his client had not been proven guilty and that the use of torture and persuasion to obtain a confession from Gahraman was completely unacceptable. Namazli went on to say that it was illegal for the authorities to search Gahraman’s clothing. In Azerbaijan, an individual must first be recognised by the Supreme Court Plenum as a suspect before their possessions may be searched.

“We did not get a response when we asked why Gahraman was questioned regarding Fetullah Gulen,” the lawyer said.
At the end of their speeches, the lawyers asked the court to acquit the youth activist of the illegal drug trafficking charges as he was not proven guilty.

After that, Elgiz Gahraman said he was not ready for his final speech as they had taken away the notes he prepared at the detention centre.
Note that at the previous hearing the prosecutor sought a 6-year prison sentence for Elgiz Gahraman.
The next hearing was set for 16 January.