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Summary: Hearing 42
On 14 December, Baku Grave Crimes Court chaired by Judge Alovsat Abbasov held a hearing on the criminal case of Taleh Bagirzade, head of Muslim Union Movement, and others arrested after a police operation in Nardaran village of Baku on 26 November 2015.
The defendants’ waivers of attorney were not accepted by the court.
Lawyer Yalchin Imanov filed a motion requesting that Minister of Internal Affairs Ramil Usubov testify at the proceedings. “On the 2nd of December last year, Ramil Usubov gave an interview to AzTV. He said the operation in Nardaran had been carried out due to the criminogenic environment in the village. The minister noted that there had been 23 cases of confrontation with the police in Nardaran to date. He stated that the operation had been conducted by the Ministry of National Security, the prosecutor’s office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. According to him, 2 police officers died in the operation, while 5 people were killed. It is unclear who the fifth person is. The minister also stressed that the operation had been conducted on the instructions of President Ilham Aliyev. There is no information in the case file about this,” the lawyer said.
Taleh Bagirzade filed a motion to obtain the recordings of the Nardaran operation from the Main Organised Crime Department. “The operation was video recorded. However, these recordings have not been included among the case materials. File a request so that they present the recordings, if there are any. They are accusing us of killing policemen. They conducted a campaign against us on television for 10 days after the operation. Let them put forward the recordings,” Bagirzade said.
The public prosecutor asked the court to reject the motions.
The motions were not granted. The judge noted that the motions filed at the previous hearing, which requested the interrogation of Abbas Huseynov’s cellmate Jahangir Hajiyev, Karim Alimardanov who led the Nardaran operation, and the attesting witnesses, were not satisfied, either. Only the motion by Rasim Jabrayilov’s lawyer Zibeyda Sadigova, which asked the court to re-interrogate police operative Ibrahim Kazimov, was sustained.
Taleh Bagirzade said it was important to examine the attesting witnesses. “On what grounds are you not interested in questioning them? The attesting witnesses, who have stated that they saw weapons in Nardaran, must be interrogated. You say the judge’s decision is not subject to discussion. An unjust decision must be subject to discussion,” Bagirzade noted.
Fuad Gahramanli said the court’s objective had to be bringing details to light. “The police are an interested party, while attesting witnesses are neutral. The fact that the attesting witnesses are not testifying suggests that the court has no intention to issue an objective decision. The inconsistencies in the testimonies of the police officers expose the fictitiousness of the proceedings. The authorities are worried about such a course of the judicial process. All the facts of torture have been exposed. I am sure that they will once again be exposed when the witnesses testify. They do not call witnesses, because they are afraid of this. If it is not so, then summon them for testimony. You reject the motion without providing any reason. You are defending the position of the government,’ Gahramanli said.
After the break, the defendants claimed that one of the persons sitting in the courtroom was a police officer and requested that he be removed from the courtroom. The person in question replied that he was a journalist, but did not say what media outlet he was working for. The judge said the defendants were not authorised to discuss the issue of removing someone from the courtroom. Taleh Bagirzade objected to the judge. “Anvar Seyidov issued an unfair decision and the God punished him. The same fate awaits you,” Bagirzade said. The judge interrupted him and ordered him to sit down. “Even Ilham Aliyev could not put me in my place. Do you think you can do that,” Bagirzade responded. The judge ordered Taleh Bagirzade to be excluded from the proceedings, and the judges left the courtroom.
Taleh Bagirzade said Judge Alovsat Abbasov had phoned a witness, who was a Nardaran resident, and demanded him not to come to court.
The proceedings were postponed indefinitely.