Prosecutor Seeks 10-Year Jail Sentence for Poet Saday Shakarli

May 11th, 2016

Summary: Hearing 8 (May 11)

  • Public prosecutor Abisalam Heydarov gave a speech requesting that Saday Shakarli be convicted and sentenced to 10 years in jail;

  • Saday Shakarli’s lawyers Fakhraddin Mehdiyev and Bahruz Bayramov asked the court to allow them time to prepare for the defense speech;

  • The presiding judge postponed the hearing to allow the lawyers to prepare for the defense speech.

The Baku Grave Crimes Court, chaired by Judge Afgan Hajiyev, held a hearing on the criminal case against poet Saday Shakarli, who was arrested on December 23, 2015 and is being charged under Article 182.3.2 (extortion of a large amount of property) of the Criminal Code. He stands accused of extorting 10,000 AZN by threatening to publish false and defamatory articles and information about a senior official of the Ministry of Taxes. 

Public prosecutor’s speech:

Public prosecutor Abisalam Heydarov noted that Saday Shakarli had been proven guilty during the court proceedings based on the testimonies of the witnesses and the attesting witnesses, the letter obtained from Azercell LLC, and other evidence. The public prosecutor also emphasized that Saday Shakarli has one young child in his care, which should be considered as a mitigating factor. The public prosecutor requested that a 10-year jail sentence for Shakarli. 

Speech by victim’s representative:

The victim’s representative, Ramil Najafov, took the floor next, saying that he agreed with the public prosecutor, but had one addition. He rejected the arguments by the defense stating that because Saday Shakarli had no credit on his mobile phone account, he couldn’t have phoned the witness, Asif Jahangirov. Najafov said he had checked with Azercell LLC and learned that it was possible to make a call even if the credit balance is zero.

Saday Shakarli’s lawyer Fakhraddin Mehdiyev said that they had not expected a speech of this type from the public prosecutor and requested additional time to their speeches.

The presiding judge accepted the request and the next hearing was set for May 16, 16.