Police Officer Accused of Brutal Torture Testifies at Nardaran Residents’ Trial

September 7th, 2016

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On September 7, Baku Grave Crimes Court chaired by Judge Alovsat Abbasov continued the hearing on the criminal case of Muslim Union Movement’s Chairman Taleh Bagirzade, Jabrayilov Rasim Mirzababa oglu, Mustafayev Zakir Tapdig oglu, Jabbarov Jabbar Amirkhan oglu, Babakishizade Jahad Babahuseyn oglu, Abdulaliyev Shamil Adil oglu, Ismayilov Agil Azer oglu, Yariyev Ramin Maharram oglu, Guliyev Abbas Abdulrahman oglu, Khudaverdiyev Ibrahim Mammad oglu, Ismayilov Etibar Rasim oglu, Asgarov Bahruz Rahib oglu, Nuriyev Ali Hasrat oglu, Valiyev Alibala Javad oglu, Balayev Farhad Nasraddin oglu and Tagizade Abbas Hafiz oglu, who are charged under Articles 120.2.1 (homicide, committed by a group of people, a group of people on preliminary arrangement, an organised group or a criminal community/organisation), 120.2.3 (homicide, of the victim or his close relatives in connection to performance of service or public duty by the victim), 120.2.4 (homicide, committed with special cruelty or in publicly dangerous way), 120.2.7 (homicide, of two or more persons), 120.2.12 (homicide, with the motive of national, racial, religious hatred or enmity), 29 (attempted crime), 214.2.1 (terrorism, committed by a group of people on preliminary arrangement, an organised group or a criminal community/organisation), 28 (preparing to commit a crime), 214.2.3 (terrorism, committed with use of fire-arms or objects used as a weapon), 214-2 (open calls for terrorism), 220.2 (incitement to active insubordination to lawful demands of a representative of authority and to mass disorders, as well as to violence against citizens), 228.3 (illegal acquisition, transfer, selling, storage, transportation or carrying of fire-arms, their accessories, supplies and explosives, committed by an organised group), 228.4 (illegal acquisition, selling or carrying of a gas weapon, cold steel, as well as a throwing weapon, except for places where carrying of a cold steel is an accessory of a national suit or is connected to hunting), 278 (violent seizure or retention of power), 279 (creation of armed formations or groups not provided for by the legislation), 281.2 (public appeals directed against the state, committed repeatedly or by a group of people), 283.2.3 (instigation of national, racial, social or religious hatred and hostility, committed by an organised group), and 315.2 (resistance to or use of violence against a representative of authority) of the Criminal Code, Huseynov Abbas Mammadbagir oglu, who is also charged under Article 233 (organisation of actions violating public order or active participation in such actions) of the Criminal Code in addition to the above charges, and APFP Deputy Chairman Fuad Gahramanli, who is charged under Articles 220.2 (making calls for active insubordination to lawful requirements of representatives of authority and for mass disorders, as well as violence against citizens), 281.2 (public appeals directed against the state, committed repeatedly or by a group of people) and 283.2.1 (instigation of national, racial, social or religious hatred and hostility, by using or threatening to use violence) of the Criminal Code. An armed incident occurred between a group of believers and policemen in Nardaran settlement of Baku on November 26, 2015, during an operation conducted by the police. According to official reports, the shootout resulted in the death of six, including two police officers. Taleh Bagirzade, the leader of the Muslim Union Movement, and several believers were detained as part of the operation. A criminal case has been launched on the fact and is investigated by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan Republic. Fuad Gahramanli was arrested on December 8, 2015. His lawyer Yalchin Imanov said that Fuad Gahramanli was arrested due to his Facebook posts and his case was merged with the criminal case of the people arrested over the Nardaran incidents.

Cross-examination of victims:

Operations officer of Main Organised Crime Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Uzeyir Salahov, who is a victim and witness in the case, gave testimony at the hearing.

Before the witness began his testimony, the defendants expressed their objection, requesting the court to re-invite Shahlar Jafarov, whose cross-examination had been interrupted at the previous hearing, to the court. They argued that Jafarov’s questioning was not finished. Defendants Taleh Bagirzade and Abbas Huseynov said Shahlar Jafarov was the main perpetrator of the torture inflicted on them.

The judge said the witness in question might come and be questioned at coming hearings, but the defendants objected to this suggestion and insisted that Shahlar Jafarov appear for cross-examination. They warned that they would not cross-examine witness Uzeyir Jafarov unless Shahlar Jafarov came. The argument went on for a while, and finally it was agreed that the present witness Uzeyir Salahov would testify first and after the break Shahlar Jafarov would be invited to the court again.
Thus, Uzeyir Salahov took the stand. “The Department received information on Taleh Bagirzade and his supporters plotting an armed takeover. A meeting was held on this basis at around 10 am on November 26. Afterwards, we went to Nardaran at around 1 pm. When we entered the yard during the operation, a grenade was thrown. I did not see who threw the grenade. I saw the deceased policemen Vugar Nasirov and Ismayil Tagiyev sustain wounds. Vugar Nasirov was hit by a bullet fired by Sarvan Safarov. Also, I saw Jabbar Jabbarov, whose name I learned later, being neutralised in the yard. I neutralised Farail Bunyadov (deceased). I neutralised him when he ran out of bullets. I have not inflicted any injury on him. When I neutralised him he had already suffered chest and stomach injuries. He was bleeding. I put him in an ambulance and sent to the hospital,” Uzeyir Salahov said.
The defendants accused Uzeyir Salahov of perjury. They said Farail Bunyadov had not been injured but was beaten to death while being transported in the furniture truck. They added that Bunyadov’s body was shot after he died to make it look as if he was wounded and died during the operation. Defendant Jabbar Jabbarov also said that Salahov was giving false testimony, because he had been captured inside the house not in the yard and by two persons not one.
In response to the lawyers’ questions, Salahov said the defendants had not been tortured.
Lawyer Yalchin Imanov asked Salahov what damage he had suffered, to which the latter replied that moral damage as he ‘could have died in the shootout’.
After that, a one-hour break was announced at the hearing.
Uzeyir Salahov’s cross-examination continued after the break.
Taleh Bagirzade said Farail was a healthy person and he had been killed in the truck. “When they took us out of the truck at the “Anti-Gang Unit”, they kept his corpse in the vehicle,” Bagirzade said.
Lawyer Yalchin Imanov said the forensic experts had given an opinion that along with bullet wounds, Farail Bunyadov had body and leg fractures and a contusion on his forehead. “If Farail Bunyadov had just bullet wounds, how have these other injuries appeared,” asked the lawyer. “I do not know,” Salahov answered.
During the hearing, defendant Ibrahim Khudaverdiyev told the judges that each Nardaran resident attending hearings was subjected to identity card checks and subsequently summoned by police.
Further on, the cross-examination of chief operations officer of Main Organised Crime Department (MOCD) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Shahlar Jafarov, who is a victim and witness in the case, was resumed.
The defendants once more asserted that Shahlar Jafarov had tortured them.
Defendant Agil Ismayilov said that while being transported to the court Shahlar Jafarov held his gun to his head and threatened him, meanwhile shouting obscene profanities.
Defendant Jabbar Jabbarov said Jafarov was one of those who had beaten Farail do death.

Defendant Taleh Bagirzade said Shahlar Jafarov was one of the main perpetrators of the torture against him. “During the video filming, they put a cap on my head to hide the marks of torture. But it was impossible to hide them. I had open wounds all over my face. They had broken my nose. I had a black eye. My leg was torn off,” Bagirzade said.
“He had a baseball bat in his room. One of them sat on my neck and they beat me with that bat,” defendant Ali Nuriyev said.
Rasim Jabrayilov said that besides torturing him Jafarov had also threatened to harm his family.
Shahlar Jafarov did not confirm any of the defendants’ statements. He said he did not know the defendants at all and had never communicated with them.
After Shahlar Jafarov’s cross-examination was over, some of the defendants threw their shoes at him from behind bars. Court bailiffs prevented the other defendants from throwing shoes.
The presiding judge required that an act be drawn up on the defendants’ behaviour.
The next hearing was set for September 8, 10 am.