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Summary: Hearing 45
On 21 December, Baku Grave Crimes Court chaired by Judge Alovsat Abbasov continued the hearing on the criminal case of Muslim Union Movement chairman Taleh Bagirzade and others. The defendants once again did not show up in court. As they were not brought in, their relatives did not enter the courtroom, either.
The judge announced the documents in the case file.
Lawyer Yalchin Imanov filed a repeat motion requesting that the hearing be held in presence of the defendants. “We once again ask you to ensure the defendants’ presence at the hearing. On December 14, Taleh Bagirzade was excluded from the proceedings, and since then, the hearings are held in the absence of the accused. Though they are not brought into the courtroom, each time the defendants are brought from the detention centre to the court building and are held in the cold cellar, which has affected the health of four of the defendants. The detention conditions in the cellar do not meet the standards. We filed several motions, but you did not grant them. We do not know for how long the defendants have been excluded. Our motion lists the defendants’ rights, one of which is provided for in Article 6 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (hereinafter ‘Convention’), i.e. the defendants should have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of their defence. Unfortunately, this right has not been ensured at several hearings already. Please ensure their presence. Otherwise, let them not be brought to court. Why are they brought if they do not participate in the hearing? This is viewed as one kind of torture. These people were already subjected to torture on the day of their detention and at the Main Organised Crime Department for months. If they are going to be tortured in court, too, what are we investigating then,” the lawyer said.
Public prosecutor Nasib Bayramov asked for the motion to be dismissed. The motion was partially granted. Only defendant Rasim Jabrayilov’s attendance was ensured and he was brought into the courtroom.
The cross-examination of victim Ibrahim Kazimov, who is nicknamed as Shrek, continued. In response to lawyers’ questions, he once again said Rasim Jabrayilov had been detained in the yard with a weapon in his hand. Rasim Jabrayilov accused Kazimov of telling a lie. “I have never used a weapon. At MOCD, Karim Alimardanov told me ‘you either admit that the weapon is yours, or we will bring your mother and wife here’. I said that a believer would never hold a weapon. You are slandering me by saying I did something that I actually never did. I was searched not there (at the place of incident), but at MOCD. When we arrived there, they took me out of the car beating me up simultaneously. You are telling a lie. The grenade went off not when you entered the yard, but when I was put into the car. You will not believe me whatever I say here, even if I take an oath at the Alley of Honour where Heydar Aliyev’s grave is located. Those who take the stand do not speak the truth,” Jabrayilov said.
After the break, Yalchin Imanov requested the court to question Sabunchu District Police Department chief as a witness and to file an inquiry as to when MOCD operatives Karim Alimardanov and Islam Agabayov entered the detention centre. The motions were rejected.
Imanov’s another motion was related to witness testimonies. The lawyer said the seven individuals arrested during the November 5 incident had named the persons who had tortured them. Among the alleged torturers, the lawyer requested the questioning of Sabunchu District Police Department chief Eldar Ilyasov, his deputy Shaig Aliyev and Baku City Main Police Department deputy chief Sahlab Bagirov as a witness. The motion was rejected.
Lawyer Nemat Karimli petitioned the court to inspect the place of incident and the building in question. “A few minutes ago, Ibrahim Kazimov testified that he had hid behind the pool. It is impossible to hide there. The length of the pool is only 1 metre. To this end, we want the yard and the building be examined,” the lawyer said. The judge denied this petition, as well.
Reminding the interior minister’s statement that the operation had been conducted in conjunction with the Ministry of National Security and the Prosecutor General’s Office, lawyer Nemat Karimli said the minister’s account contradicted Ibrahim Kazimov’s statement that the operation had been conducted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs alone. Thus, the lawyer lodged a petition for the operation dossier to be brought in and examined. However, the presiding judge denied the petition on the ground that the operation dossier was a confidential document.
Lawyer Yalchin Imanov filed an oral motion for the questioning of forensic expert Adil Azimov by arguing that the expert report on the torture marks on the defendants’ bodies were issued on November 26 only and did not cover the subsequent torture instances. This motion was also dismissed.
The lawyer then requested that the crime scene inspection report be examined sentence by sentence, by claiming that the number of bullets, particularly rubber bullets used was shown less in the report than the actual number. The request was rejected.
Afterwards, an argument occurred between the judge and the lawyers with regard to the manner of examination of the documents. Lawyer Yalchin Imanov filed a verbal motion to summon Prof. Firudin Samandarov as an expert. The motion was denied.
Lawyer Nemat Karimli argued that the discs showing the defendants pointing to the places of the weapons and the grenade was an edited footage, and asked for time to file a petition for an expert examination of the discs.
The next court hearing was set for 23 December, 10.30 am.