Poet Saday Shakarli’s Trial Continues

April 6th, 2016

Summary: Hearing 4 (April 6)

  • At the hearing, the attesting witness Seymur Hasanaliyev testified that during the operation the defendant Saday Shakarli took the money out of his pocket and put it on the table;

  • The other attesting witness Vusal Sofibeyov said that during the operation carried out by the Anti-Corruption Department Saday Shakarli took the money out of his pocket, put it on the table and said that it was a gift for the book;

  • The presiding judge declared that witness Asif Jahangirov had sent a telegram to the court noting that he would not be able to show up to court due to his health. However, the judge said the witness had not presented a medical certificate;

  • Lawyer Bahruz Bayramov said Asif Jahangirov was the main witness and his participation in the hearing was mandatory, and he filed a motion to ensure compulsory attendance of the witness at hearings. The motion was not granted.

Baku Grave Crimes Court chaired by Judge Afgan Hajiyev held a hearing on the criminal case of the poet Saday Shakarli, who was arrested on December 23, 2015 and is charged under Article 182.3.2 (extortion of a large amount of property) of the Criminal Code.  

Questioning of attesting witnesses:

Attesting witness Seymur Hasanaliyev testified at the hearing. The witness said that he was walking in the park near the Elmlar Akademiyasi metro station on December 23, 2015, when two civilians approached him and presented themselves as employees of the Anti-Corruption Department under the Prosecutor General’s Office. They invited him to be an attesting witness and he agreed. After that, he went to the Ministry of Taxes with those persons. There, he waited in a room. After waiting for some time, he was invited to another room. According to the attesting witness, there were other tax officers in the room and the process was filmed. The attesting witness said the defendant Saday Shakarli took the money out of his pocket and put it on the table.

The second attesting witness Vusal Sofibeyov testified next and said that he was walking with his colleague in the Javid Park on December 23, 2015, when employees of the Anti-Corruption Department under the Prosecutor General’s Office came up to them and invited them to be attesting witnesses and they agreed. From there, they went to the Ministry of Taxes with those persons. He waited in a room, where the lights were turned off. Then, he moved to another room together with the tax officer. In that room, defendant Saday Shakarli took the money out of his pocket in front of cameras and said that the money was a gift for the book.

The presiding judge declared that witness Asif Jahangirov had sent a telegram to the court noting that he would not be able to appear in court due to his health. However, the judge said the witness had not presented a medical certificate.

Lawyer’s motion:

Lawyer Bahruz Bayramov made an objection to witness Asif Jahangirov’s failure to attend the hearing. “Asif Jahangirov is the main witness in the case. Saday Shakarli was arrested and faces a jail sentence of 10 to 15 years based on Jahangirov’s complaint and statement. It is simply impossible without Asif Jahangirov’s presence. In the upcoming hearings, I will probably file a motion to summon the Tax Minister Fazil Mammadov to come and testify as a witness, too. If we want the judgment to be fair and objective, Asif Jahangirov must definitely come and testify. In order to clarify the substance of the issues, the court should ensure compulsory presence of Asif Jahangirov. It will be a disgrace if he does not come. Ensure compulsory presence of the witness,” the lawyer said.   

Saday Shakarli also requested ensuring compulsory presence of Asif Jahangirov. Shakarli said his fate was at stake and added that witness Asif Jahangirov must come and present evidence.

Public prosecutor Abusalam Heydarov also noted that Asif Jahangirov was a witness in the case and his attendance was important. But he suggested that the witness be subpoenaed once more, and if he fails again, then the court should order ensuring his compulsory attendance.

Upon a brief deliberation, the presiding judge said witness Asif Jahangirov would be served with a second subpoena, and in case of failure to show up, the court would order ensuring his compulsory attendance.

The next hearing was set for April 14, 12.30pm.