NGO Chairman Ilgar Aliyev Sentenced to 12 Years in Jail

February 2nd, 2017

On 2 February, Baku Grave Crimes Court completed the court proceedings in the case of Yeni Sabah (New Tomorrow) NGO chairman Ilgar Aliyev, who is charged with misappropriation and other offences.

Ilgar Aliyev made his final speech at the hearing presided over by Judge Eldar Ismayilov.

Aliyev pleaded not guilty and said he had not committed any offence. “The prosecutor requested a 13-year sentence for me, despite my innocence. What can I say,” the NGO chairman said.

The jury went to the deliberation room and coming back they announced the judgment which sentenced Ilgar Aliyev to 12 years in prison.

Background: New Tomorrow NGO Chairman Ilgar Aliyev was charged with embezzlement racketeering, illegal possession of a weapon, and abuse of official powers after undeclared items were found in his baggage during security screening at Baku airport upon his return to the country via Moscow-Baku flight.

While the journalist was passing through the customs control, employees of the Main Air Transport Customs Office conducted X-ray scanning of his baggage, which screened images of metal items inside the luggage. Therefore, a repeat inspection was carried out, during which seven knives, a five-pointed throwing star, a camera-pen and camera-glasses were found, documented, and seized from among the personal items in Ilgar Aliyev’s suitcase. Aliyev said he had bought the items at a shop in Pattaya, Thailand. According to the opinion of the Forensic Examination Centre of the Ministry of Justice, 5 of the knives were steel, and the pen and glasses were designed for obtaining information secretly.