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Summary: Hearing 4
On 2 December, Baku Grave Crimes Court, chaired by Judge Eynulla Valiyev, continued the hearing on the case of NIDA Civic Movement member Bayram Mammadov. Mammadov is facing drug charges.
Giyas Ibrahimov and Bayram Mammadov, members of opposition civic movement NIDA and final-year students of Azerbaijan Slavic University, were arrested on drug charges on 10 May 2016. They were involved in writing graffiti on a statue of former President Heydar Aliyev. Both youths have claimed that they have been arrested for exercising their right to freedom of expresasion.
The two youths went missing on the evening of 10 May 2016, and it was not until 12 May that the Ministry of Internal Affairs released information on the arrests.
According to the Ministry’s statement, a search carried out by officers of the Drug Enforcement Department of Baku City Main Police Office, Police Office #22 of Nasimi District Police Department and Police Office #25 of Nizami District Police Department, found 2.607 grams of heroin in Giyas Ibrahimov’s possession. The search of his apartment yielded an additional 1.1 kg of heroin. A further search conducted by the officers of the Drug Enforcement Department of Baku City Main Police Office and Police Office #12 of Sabunchu District Police Department, 2.904 grams of heroin were found on Bayram Mammadov’s person, plus an additional 1.15 kg in his house.
Both activists were charged with drug possession upon arrest, and on 12 May 2016, Baku Court sentenced Mammadov and Ibrahimov to 4 months in pre-trial detention. Their detention term was further extended in September. The youth activists have reported being subjected to torture whilst in detention. On 25 October, Baku Grave Crimes Court sentenced Giyas Ibrahimov to 10 years in jail.
At the hearing, youth activist’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov filed a motion to remove the detention report from the list of evidence, which he stated was invalidated by the absence of a lawyer’s signature. Sadigov added that the minutes of the taking of evidence did not include a photo as required under criminal procedure. The lawyer’s motion was not granted.
The presiding judge announced the completion of the judicial investigation, following which public prosecutor Ramin Nagdaliyev gave a speech. He said the drug charges brought against Bayram Mammadov had been proven in court, and asked for a 10.5-year jail sentence for Bayram Mammadov.
The next court hearing was set for 9 December.