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On September 23, 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.
At the hearing, lawyer Yalchin Imanov filed a motion to ensure the presence of defendant Abbas Huseynov.
“The court has already made its decision. If Abbas Huseynov wants to participate, he should first apply to court in writing and promise not to repeat such actions. We cannot let the hearing continue that way,” the presiding judge said.
A 10-minute break was announced at the hearing.
“We consulted and decided that Abbas Huseynov’s participation in the hearing must be ensured. The hearing should continue in his presence. This is our position. Otherwise, we will not ask questions to the witnesses or participate in any form. We file this motion on behalf of both the defendants and the lawyers. We are defending the interests of the accused persons and act on their instructions,” Yalchin Imanov said after the break.
“I am seconding the motion and noting that Abbas Huseynov has been indicted with the highest number of charges in this case, 22 charges, while the rest of the defendants face 21 charges. He is the main defendant mentioned in the criminal case. According to the indictment, Taleh Bagirzade is allegedly the organiser of the criminal gang and Abbas Huseynov is the weapon supplier. Therefore the burden of crimes weighs more on Abbas Huseynov. I believe that his presence at the hearing should be ensured, and the hearing should proceed with his participation,” lawyer Fariz Namazli said.
“According to Law on Advocates’ Activities and Criminal Procedure Code, lawyers are acting in the interests of their clients. It would be in their interests to not cross-examine the witnesses. To this end, we will not participate,” lawyer Nemat Karimli said.
The other lawyers and the defendants also backed the motion.
Prosecutor Nasib Bayramov in turn said that the defendants continuously ignored repeated warnings issued to them. He claimed that the lawyers’ motion resulted in red-tape and violation of the defendants’ rights.
Following an on-the-bench deliberation, the presiding judge announced that the motion was rejected. He said the defendants were not obligated to ask questions to the witnesses and the court hearing had to move on.
At this point, Taleh Bagirzade turned toward the judge and asked: “If you do not grant the motion to ensure Abbas Huseynov’s presence at the hearing, I want to ask you one question. Who do you think Ilham Aliyev will become after the September 26 referendum, a king or a shah? Which of the two? Please answer this question.”
The judge said he had not given the floor to Taleh Bagirzade.
Thereupon, the defendants chanted slogans “Freedom” and “Resign.”
The next hearing was set for September 28, 10.00am. The judge said he would file a complaint with the Bar Association against the lawyers.