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Summary: Hearing 2
Shirvan Appeal Court, chaired by Judge Alasgar Novruzov. held a preliminary hearing on the appeal of jailed satirical poet Tofig Hasanli.
Tofig Hasanli was arrested on 13 October 2015 and charged under Article 234.4.3 (illegal manufacturing, production, acquisition, storage, carrying, transfer and selling of drugs, in a large amount) of the Criminal Code. On 22 August 2016, Lankaran Grave Crimes Court sentenced him to 6 years in prison. The poet has occasionally read his critical poems on the Azerbaijani Hour TV programme.
Examination of witnesses
Witnesses Gasim Farzullayev and Balakhan Huseynov testified at the hearing. They confirmed that the inspection of Tofig Hasanli’s shop and the additional examination of his clothes took place in the absence of a lawyer.
The attesting witnesses also denied having seen the seizure of the drugs allegedly belonging to Tofig Hasanli. They were shown the drugs by the police, who told them that the drugs had been ‘found’ on Tofig Hasanli. According to the witnesses, the record was also drawn up in the absence of a lawyer. They noted that they had signed the record without reading it, as they couldn’t read or write in Latin script.
The lawyer pointed out that witness Balakhan Huseynov had been engaged as an attesting witness in numerous cases related to illegal drug trafficking, including cases investigated by the State Security Service. The witness did not deny this.
Lawyer Elchin Sadigov’s motion to summon police officer Fakhri Gasimov for re-examination was granted.
The lawyer also petitioned the court to summon the other detectives who had taken part in Hasanli’s detention for examination, but the court rejected the motion.
The next hearing was set for December 19.