No Defence Motion Granted at Second Group’s Trial in Nardaran Case

Summary: 4th hearing

On 6 February, Baku Grave Crimes Court chaired by Judge Zeynal Aghayev continued the preliminary hearing on the criminal case of theologian Zulfugar Mikayilov, Elman Aghayev, Faig Allahverdiyev, Mehman Guliyev, Mehman Mammadov, Eldar Bunyatov, Elkhan Hasanov, Mubariz Ibrahimov, Ali Huseynov, Ramil Seyfullayev, Ruzi Ismayilov and Jabir Aliyev.

At the hearing, both newly filed and previous defence motions were examined. In today’s session, defendants’ lawyers filed motions to release their clients from pre-trial detention to house arrest and to discontinue the criminal proceedings. The proposals were rejected.

The motion filed by defendant Elkhan Hasanov’s lawyer Ramiz Mammadov at the previous hearing, which sought the removal of the search and seizure record from the evidence list, was not granted, either.

The lawyer’s motion to summon and examine the attesting witnesses, who had attended the search and seizure procedure and the Director of Lankaran City Executive Power Taleh Garashov as a witness was shelved.

The court also turned down the petition of defendant Elman Aghayev’s lawyer Akif Aliyev to cease the criminal prosecution of his client.

Defendant Elman Aghayev’s motion to summon Rahim Gurbanov, who had been assigned to him as a public defender during the investigation phase, for witness testimony was left undecided.

The motion by defendant Zulfugar Mikayilov’s lawyer Rustam Zulfugarov, which requested the termination of the criminal proceedings, was not granted.

The court similarly rejected the petition by defendant Mehman Mammadov’s lawyer to release his client from pre-trial detention to house arrest given his minor.

The petition lodged by defendant Ruzi Ismayilov’s lawyer Shahla Humbatova to summon and examine the attesting witnesses was deferred.

The main hearing was set for 13 February, 10 am.

Background: Z. Mikayilov and others are charged under Articles 214.2.1 (terrorism, committed on preliminary arrangement by a group of persons, by an organised group or a criminal community (criminal organisation)), 214.2.3 (terrorism, committed with use of fire-arms or objects used as a weapon), 214-2 (open calls for terrorist acts), 220.2 (making calls for active insubordination to lawful requirements of representatives of authority and for mass disorders, as well as for violence against citizens), 228.4 (illegal acquisition, selling or carrying of a gas weapon, cold steel, as well as a throwing weapon by an organised group, except for places where taking of a cold steel is an accessory of a national suit or is connected to hunting), 278 (actions aimed at violent seizure or retention of power in infringement of the Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic, as well as aimed at violent change of the constitutional grounds of the state), 279.1 (creation of armed formations or groups, which are not provided for by the legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic, participation in their establishment and activity, and supplying them with weapons, ammunition, explosives, military engineering or military equipment), 281.2 (public appeals directed against the state, repeatedly committed or by a group of people), and 283.2.3 (instigation of national, racial, social or religious hatred and hostility, by an organised group) of the Criminal Code.
Muslim Union Movement chairman Taleh Bagirzade was arrested in an operation conducted in Nardaran on 26 November 2015. Under Baku Grave Crimes Court’s verdict of 25 January 2017, Taleh Bagirzade and his 17 co-defendants were sentenced to between 10 and 20 years in prison. T. Bagirzade’s deputy Elchin Gasimov and his 11 co-defendants’ case is also currently pending before the court.

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