Second Hearing Held in Former Lawyer Alayif Hasanov’s Lawsuit Against Bar Association

June 9th, 2016

elayif

Summary: Hearing 2

 At the hearing, Bar Association’s representative Altay Muradov commented on plaintiff Alayif Hasanov’s motion requesting that Bar Association Presidium provide the court with the protocol of the meeting on terminating his lawyer activity, the meeting’s verbatim transcript, a copy of the decision and documents on other lawyers with criminal records. Muradov said that no separate decision had been drawn up on the termination of Alayif Hasanov’s lawyer activity and it had been recorded only in the meeting protocol. He presented an extract from the meeting protocol to the court, but said that meetings were not recorded verbatim;
 Alayif Hasanov’s representative Khalid Bagirov said that they obtained new findings after familiarization with the excerpt from the meeting protocol and asked the court to give them time to make changes in the lawsuit. The motion was sustained;
 Khalid Bagirov’s second motion related to sending a request to the Constitutional Court to clarify the contradiction between Articles 8 (lawyer) and 23 (termination of lawyer activity) of the Law on Advocates and Advocate’s Activity. The judge did not comment on the motion.

Baku Administrative Economic Court #1, chaired by Judge Elchin Mammadov, held a hearing on Alayif Hasanov’s lawsuit against Bar Association, requesting the annulment of the decision dated July 3, 2015 on his disbarment and termination of his lawyer activity. Bar Association Presidium made the decision to disbar Alayif Hasanov citing the court verdict on his conviction. The verdict in question was delivered based on the lawsuit of Nuriyya Huseynova, who had been human rights defender Leyla Yunus’ cellmate in Kurdakhani detention center. At the time, Alayif Hasanov was Leyla Yunus’ lawyer. In her messages to the public, which she passed on via her lawyer, Leyla Yunus stated that Nuriyya Huseynova, an ex-convict, was put in the same cell as her on purpose and that Nuriyya had beaten her. Nuriyya Huseynova sued the lawyer because of this, and Alayif Hasanov was convicted under Articles 147 and 148 (insult and libel) of Criminal Code. In November 2014, Alayif Hasanov was sentenced to 240 hours of community work. His sentence was later upheld by Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. On that ground, Bar Association disbarred Alayif Hasanov. However, Hasanov believes that the decision is politically motivated. He considers his disbarment to be part of the pressures against the lawyers, who defend the rights of political prisoners and are critical of the country’s judicial system.

The hearing was attended by Alayif Hasanov, his representative Khalid Bagirov, and defendant Bar Association’s representative Altay Muradov.

Plaintiff Alayif Hasanov’s motion:

At the hearing, Bar Association’s representative Altay Muradov commented on plaintiff Alayif Hasanov’s motion requesting that Bar Association Presidium provide the court with the protocol of the meeting on terminating his lawyer activity, the meeting’s verbatim transcript, a copy of the decision and documents on other lawyers with criminal records.

Muradov said that no separate decision had been drawn up on the termination of Alayif Hasanov’s lawyer activity and it had been recorded only in the meeting protocol. He presented an extract from the meeting protocol to the court.

As to the verbatim meeting transcript, the defendant’s representative said meetings were not recorded verbatim.

Muradov also commented on plaintiff Alayif Hasanov’s remarks that Kamandar Nasibov and Ramiz Zeynalov not only remained in the Bar Association but were even members of its Presidium despite of their conviction. “After Kamandar Nasibov’s resignation, Presidium had 12 members, of whom 11 members, except Mukhtar Mustafayev, attended that meeting. Kamandar Nasibov, although convicted, was sentenced to a fine, which was paid. As for Ramiz Zeynalov, he was convicted for a crime committed by negligence, i.e. a traffic accident. Besides, it is Presidium members who decide whether a lawyer should be banned from practice for his conviction,” Altay Muradov said.

In response to the defense representative’s remarks, plaintiff Alayif Hasanov’s representative Khalid Bagirov said: “Where it is written that a lawyer convicted for a crime committed by negligence cannot be disbarred, but a lawyer convicted for an act not posing danger to society can? As for Kamandar Nasibov, he was convicted for an act committed deliberately. Does not a fine count as conviction? By that, you clearly show that Alayif Hasanov has been discriminated against. This is about violation of Article 14 of European Convention, which prohibits discrimination,” Khalid Bagirov said.

“I am not dying for Bar Association or robe. But nothing can prevent me from fighting for my rights. Both my conviction and disbarment were through serious law violations. What is so special about the protocol that you don’t give it to the court? I have been subjected to discrimination and I have raised this issue before all international organizations and the European Court. Why did Azer Tagiyev come to that meeting, when he was on leave? They should’ve said it outright that “You are redundant in Bar Association.” I and my family had been repeatedly subjected to pressure in the past, too,” the former lawyer noted.

Motion by plaintiff’s representative:

After that, Alayif Hasanov’s representative Khalid Bagirov said that they obtained new findings after familiarization with the excerpt from the meeting protocol and asked the court to give them time to make changes in the lawsuit. The motion was sustained.

Khalid Bagirov’s second motion related to sending a request to the Constitutional Court to clarify the contradiction between Articles 8 (lawyer) and 23 (termination of lawyer activity) of the Law on Advocates and Advocate’s Activity: “According to Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the Law, persons whose conviction for the commission of less serious, serious and particularly serious crimes has not been executed or discharged and in whose regard there exist a court decision cannot be advocates. And, Article 23 of the Law lists the circumstances under which lawyer activity may be terminated. One of those circumstances is the existence, in respect of the advocate, of a valid guilty verdict or a court decision on application of compulsory medical measures. It is specifically shown in Article 8 of the Law that “for the commission of less serious, serious and particularly serious crimes.” However, Alayif Hasanov was sentenced for a crime not posing a significant danger to society. Can it really be a reason to disbar the lawyer?”

The judge did not comment on the motion filed by the plaintiff’s representative.

The next court hearing was set for June 23, 12.00pm.