Supreme Court leaves oppositionist Aliyev in jail

The appeal of the chairman of the “Citizens and Development Party” (CDP) Aliyev against his imprisonment was rejected by the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan on 18 October.

On January 13, the Yasamal district court of Baku sentenced Ali Aliyev to five months of imprisonment on libel charges.

A private criminal complaint against him was filed by Emil Jafarov, a lieutenant-colonel of the border service. Another border guard officer, Ramin Adilov, filed a similar complaint against Aliyev. On that complaint, Aliyev received another month of imprisonment.

They were both survivors of the Mi-17 helicopter crash on November 30 in Khyzy region. The reason for the suit was Aliyev’s interview to Youtube channel Osmanqızı TV on December 9, 2021.

In particular, Aliyev suggested that the helicopter could have crashed as a result of external influence, so the attack on the helicopter of the Border Guard Service should be regarded as an attack on the borders of Azerbaijan, he said.

Aliyev did not rule out that Russia, which has long sought to secure Azerbaijan’s border, could be behind the provocation. 

Subsequently, Aliyev’s sentence was increased to 1 year of imprisonment at the suit of former Yeni Azerbaijan ruling Party functionary Ramiz Geyushev.

On 18 October, the Supreme Court dismissed Aliyev’s complaint against the sentence handed down at the suit of Ramin Adilov.

Aliyev himself refused to participate in the process thereby voicing distrust in the objectivity of the court.

During the session, the defense asked to cancel the verdict of the court of appeal in this case and issue an acquittal.

Lawyer Javad Javadov told Turan that the defense will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights after the Supreme Court decision.

“In Aliyev’s first case we have already applied to the ECHR and our application has already been registered with the Strasbourg Court,” the lawyer said.

Zafar Akhmedov, a member of the NGO “Line of Defense,” who observed the trial, called the consideration of the appeal a “formality.”

“Everything was predictable, because Aliyev’s case is openly political.  The man has been sentenced to imprisonment three times over the years, and another case is pending – about the alleged beating of a cellmate. His trials have nothing to do with the law – these are political cases. They just want to break him and make him cooperate (with the authorities). If they do not achieve this, they will keep him in custody for a long time”, Akhmedov told Turan.

Adilov’s private prosecutor was unavailable for comment.

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