Tofig Yagublu’s appeal against conviction heard in Shaki Appeal Court

May 20th, 2014

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On May 20, Shaki Appeal Court held a preliminary hearing on the appeal filed by Tofig Yagublu, columnist of Yeni Musavat newspaper, and others convicted in connection with Ismayilli unrest. The appellants contest the March 17 decision of the Shaki Grave Crimes Court.
As Yagublu’s lawyer Nemat Karimli told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS), the court did not grant their request for the change of the pre-trial detention measure.
The lawyer added that the court decided to continue hearing on June 5, through conduct of partial judicial investigation.
Note that Yagublu has been sentenced to 5 years in prison. The others accused of organizing riot in Ismayilli were also found guilty and received prison or suspended sentences. Among them, REAL Movement chairman Ilgar Mammadov was sentenced to 7 years, Seftar Agamaliyev, Anar Hasanov and Vasif Ibrahimov to 8 years, Elshan Ismayilli to 5.6 years, Elshan Gurbanov to 5 years, Ganbar Agamaliyev and Jafar Jafarov to 4.6 years and Shukran Mohbaliyev to 2.6 years in jail. Shakir Mustafayev, Jeyhun Abbasov, Sakhavat Samadov, Khayal Sharanov, Rashid Mammadov, Dashgin Agayev, Aydin Jabbarov and Mirkazim Abdullayev were released in the courtroom, receiving suspended sentences.
Background: Tofig Yagublu was charged under articles 233 and 315 of the Criminal Code, being accused of calling on the protesters to undermine to disobey and resist the police and block the roads, during his visit to the region on January 24. On 4 February 2013, Nasimi District Court of Baku ordered him to serve 2 months in pretrial detention. On 8 February 2013, Baku Appeals Court upheld the ruling. On April 27, one of the previous two charges filed against Yagublu, “organizing public disorder” (article 233), was replaced by that of “organizing or participating in mass disorders accompanied by violence, looting, arson, destruction of property, application of fire-arms or explosives, or armed resistance against representative of authority” (article 220.1) which carries a maximum of 12 year imprisonment.