Summary: Hearing 5 (January 29)
Ø Victim Mahammad Gurbanov testified that no harm had been caused to him and that he has no complaint against Mammad Ibrahim;
Ø Yalchin Imanov’s motion to interrogate Mubariz Suleymanov as an additional witness was left unconsidered. Suleymanov led the initial investigation of the criminal case against Mammad Ibrahim,
Narimanov District Court, chaired by Judge Turgay Huseynov, held a hearing on the case of Mammad Ibrahim, Deputy Chairman of Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP).
Victim Mahammad Gurbanov’s testimony:
Mahammad Gurbanov, recognized as a victim, testified at the hearing. Gurbanov said that Mammad Ibrahim had not caused him any injury.
“I am an athlete. On September 29, I was on my way to the gym. I saw that there was a dispute. I went up to help. But, before I could get there, Mammad Ibrahim hit an elderly man, who was trying to break up the fight, in the chest. Then he pushed and cursed me. Then I saw Mikayil Guliyev, whom Mammad Ibrahim had hit, sitting by the roadside. I left the area. Later, I went to the police. I did not know this person. They told me his name at Narimanov District Police Office. I have complaint against Mammad Ibrahim because he cursed me, but as I did not incur any physical injury, I do not have a special demand for judicial relief. I do not want compensation,” said the victim.
When asked by the lawyer why he appealed to the police on October 2, 2015, rather than on September 29, i.e. the day the incident happened, Mahammad Gurbanov said, “my friends from our neighborhood told me [to go to the police because if I did not] I would also be deemed guilty. They advised me to tell the police that I was not responsible for the fight.”
Lawyer Yalchin Imanov then asked the victim whether he had been prosecuted before, to which Mahammad Gurbanov answered that he had not. However, lawyer Yalchin Imanov presented a document he had obtained from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which read that Mahammad Gurbanov had been prosecuted under article 128 (deliberate causing of minor harm to health) of the Criminal Code on December 1, 2012, but the case was dismissed following reconciliation with the victim. The lawyer filed a motion to include this document in the case file, but the judge denied the motion, saying that the document was irrelevant to the present case.
The lawyer filed a motion asking the court to interrogate former investigator Mubariz Suleymanov, who had investigated the criminal case against Mammad Ibrahim, as an additional witness. The judge did not consider the motion.
The next hearing was set for February 1, at 15.00.
Background: Mammad Ibrahim was arrested on September 30, 2015, in a criminal case launched on the basis of the complaint made by former APFP member Mikayil Guliyev. He was first charged under article 221.1 (hooliganism) of the Criminal Code. Almost a month later, two more people, Oruj Valiyev and Mahammad Gurbanov filed a complaint claiming that during the incident Mammad Ibrahim had punched them, too. After that, the initial charge brought against Mammad Ibrahim was replaced by a more serious one under article 221.2.2 of the Criminal Code, which stipulates a punishment of imprisonment for up to five years or correct labor for up to two years.