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Trial for Journalist Rasim Aliyev’s Murder Begins
Summary: Hearing 1 (January 05)
The lawyer defending the rights of the late journalist filed a motion to discontinue the examination of the case and to refer it back to the prosecutor;
The lawyer filed an additional motion requesting that the court invite additional witnesses possessing relevant information to testify;
The court rejected the motion to discontinue the proceedings, and left the other motion on additional witnesses unconsidered.
On January 5, Baku Grave Crimes Court, chaired by judge Eldar Ismayilov, held a preparatory hearing on the criminal case into the murder of the former IRFS chairman, journalist Rasim Aliyev, who died in hospital after a brutal physical assault in August 2015.
The hearing was attended by the late journalist’s parents as his legal heirs, defense lawyers Asabali Mustafayev and Fariz Namazli, public prosecutor AbiSalam Haydarov, and the defendants: Elshan Ismayilov, Samir Mustafayev, Jamal Mammadov, Kanan Madatov and Arif Aliyev.
As the hearing was held in a smaller courtroom, the defendants’ parents, independent journalists and activists were prohibited from entering. There were no representative from embassies or international organizations in attendance to observe the hearing.
The hearing began with the verification of the personal data of the accused persons.
The lawyer for the victim’s parents, Fariz Namazli, filed motions with the court. First, he requested the court to discontinue the examination of the case and return it to the prosecutor who led the investigation.
“In our opinion, the indictment drawn up by the investigator violates the requirements of the Criminal Procedural Code, in that due to failure to determine Javid Huseynov’s involvement in the deliberate infliction of serious bodily harm that caused the death of Rasim Aliyev, Huseynov’s criminal prosecution in this regard has been terminated. Thus Javid Huseynov’s criminal case has been separated from this criminal case, and the proceedings concerning the doctors and medical staff who took part in the examination and treatment of Rasim Aliyev in the Clinical Medical Center, have been terminated for the absence of corpus delicti in their actions. In the motions they filed during the preliminary investigation, the victim’s legal heirs stated that Javid Huseynov was the mastermind of Rasim Aliyev’s murder and that the doctors’ negligence also played a role in Rasim Aliyev’s death. However, their motions were rejected. Therefore, the judicial proceedings should be discontinued and the case should be returned to the prosecutor,” said Fariz Namazli.
However, this motion was denied by the court.
The lawyer’s next motion requested the summoning of additional witnesses.
The lawyer said that some of the people interrogated during the preliminary investigation were not included in the list of witnesses in the bill of indictment, even though their testimonies are very important.
“It is important for the court to hear testimonies from the following witnesses: the late journalist’s hospital roommate Ramil Gurbatov; Clinical Medical Centers’ Surgery Department’s ultrasonographer Arzu Rustamova; Professor of the Department of Surgery of Azerbaijan Medical University Saday Aliyev; Docent of the Department of Surgery of Azerbaijan Medical University Babak Zeynalov; Head of the Department of Radiology and Diagnostics of the Clinical Medical Center Tamara Hajiyeva; surgeon in the First Surgery Department of the Clinical Medical Center Ali Ismayilov, Head of the Anesthesiology Department of the Clinical Medical Center Fatali Fataliyev; duty doctor of the same unit Elnara Niftaliyeva; nurses Sudaba Tagiyeva and Zohra Gaziyeva; and doctor from the surgical Intensive Care Unit of the Clinical Medical Center Fazil Aliyev. All of these people were interrogated during the preliminary investigation, because their testimonies will help determine the time at which Rasim Aliyev was operated upon, and whether his death was caused by the injuries sustained in the assault, or whether he died during the operation. We also want the court to hear the testimonies of Mehman Huseynov, Aydin Mahmudov and Mammadali Aliyev, who last saw Rasim Aliyev in the hospital,” noted the lawyer in his motion.
Although the accused persons’ lawyers also supported this motion, the court left this motion unconsidered.
The next hearing was set for January 12, 10.30am.
Notably, the case of the footballer Javid Huseynov has been separated from the other case, and Rasim Aliyev’s family has not been recognized as a party in that case. As a consequence they will not be able to participate in his trial as a party.