Trial of Ganimat Zahid’s Relatives Begins
Summary: Hearing 1 (February 19, 2016)
Ø Bahruz Bayramov, the lawyer for the defendant Rufat Zahidov, filed a verbal motion to present the indictment bill to his client, as it had not yet been served. The presiding judge granted the motion and ordered that the indictment bill be presented to the defendants.
Baku Grave Crimes Court, chaired by judge Eldar Mikayilov, held a preliminary hearing on the case against Rufat and Rovshan Zahidov, who have been arraigned on drug charges. Rufat and Rovshan Zahidov are relatives of Ganimat Zahid, the Editor-in-Chief of Azadliq newspaper and the host of the Azerbaijani Hour TV program. He currently lives in exile in France. Rufat Zahidov is Ganimat Zahid’s nephew and Rovshan Zahidov is his cousin. The two men were arrested in July 2015, and have been charged under articles 234.4.1 (illegal manufacturing, processing, purchase, storage, transfer, transportation or sale of narcotics or psychotropic substances – on preliminary arrangement by a group of persons) and 234.4.3 (- in a large amount) of the Criminal Code.
The hearing was attended by the accused, their lawyers, and public prosecutor Elchin Gafarov.
The presiding judge opened the hearing with a background check of the defendants. It turned out that Rufat Zahidov had a previous conviction under article 263.1 (infringement of rules of traffic and operation of vehicles) of the Criminal Code. He had served a 6 month jail sentence in full. He has a child in his care. Rovshan Zahidov has no previous convictions.
The judge asked if the defendants had been familiarized with the indictment bill. The defendants and their lawyers responded that the indictment bill had not been served to them. The lawyer for Rufat Zahidov,Bahruz Bayramov, filed a verbal motion to present the indictment bill to his client. The presiding judge granted the motion and ordered the indictment bill to be presented to the defendants.
The presiding judge postponed the hearing until February 23, 11.00am, to allow the defendants and their lawyers to familiarize themselves with the indictment.