Today, the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan considered a cassation appeal against the sentence of the acting chairman of the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan (IPA) Ilham Aliyev, who was sentenced to 16 years in prison on charges of treason.
During the trial, Aliyev denied accusations of spying for Iran.
According to him, the accusation was based on information that the party received funding from Iran. However, as Aliyev noted, these were private donations.
“At a conference in Iran, a believer approached me and offered financial assistance for the party because of the motives of Islamic solidarity. For several months such assistance was provided. But the party existed on donations from members and supporters of the party in Azerbaijan,” Aliyev said. However, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal and upheld the verdict.
The defense is now going to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, lawyer Javad Javadov said. He noted that a complaint had already been filed against Aliyev’s pre-trial detention during the investigation.
The IPA was founded in 1991 in the village of Nardaran. In 1992, the party passed state registration. However, in 1995 its leader, Alikram Aliyev, was arrested and convicted on charges of spying for Iran, and the IPA’s registration was annulled.
In 2011, his successor as chairman of the party, Movsum Samedov, and several other members of the party were sentenced to 12 years. Since then, the post of head of the IPA has remained vacant, and in recent years this position has been taken by Ilham Aliyev.