On March 13, Baku Court on Grave Crimes, under Novruz Karimov, continued hearing of the case of journalist Parviz Hashimli and Tavakkul Gurbanov who is charged as accomplice in what the National Security Ministry, or MTN, claims to be “smuggling” by “organized group”.
The journalist’s lawyer Bahruz Bayramov filed a motion for fingerprint exam to see whether the journalist had any finger marks on the money (banknotes) seized from Tavakkul Gurbanov’s car. The judge said the motion will be considered in the next hearing.
The lawyer also told the court that the confiscated guns were made in Russia and that such weapons were under strict control, and he made another motion on appealing to the manufacturer country using gun serial numbers.
During the hearing, Tavakkul Gurbanov asked Parviz Hashimli how he could have relations with state officials like Javid Gurbanov (member of Parliament, president of “Azeravtoyol” (Azerbaijan Automobile Road) State Company) and Ali Nagiyev (former deputy Minister of National Security, now Deputy chief of the Anti-Corruption Department under Prosecutor General), being a Member of the Presidium of an opposition Azerbaijan Popular Front Party. Hashimli answered that as Bizim Yol newspaper’s long-term correspondent in the Parliament, he had relations with many MPs or officials.
Then prosecution witnesses Zaur Abdullayev and Osman Rasimov testified. Their testimonies contradicted those initially provided to the investigator. Even Zaur Abdullayev was drunk while he was testifying.
The hearing will continue on March 18, at 10:30 am, with questioning of other witnesses.
Background: Bizim Yol newspaper journalist and moderator.az editor-in-chief Parviz Hashimli was detained on September 17, by employees of the Ministry of National Security, or MTN. He is charged under three articles of the Azerbaijani Criminal Code: Article 206.3.2 (smuggling of firearms on preliminary arrangement by an organized group), 228.2.1 (illegal purchase, transfer, selling, storage, transportation and carrying of firearms, their accessories, supplies and explosives by an organized group) and 228.2.2 (the same acts committed repeatedly).