Trial Underway for Taleh Bagirzade and Others Arrested over Nardaran Incidents

July 22nd, 2016

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Summary: Hearing 2 (July 22)

 At the hearing, the accused persons turned their faces to the wall inside the courtroom cage where they were held. Asked by judge why they were doing so, they replied it was a response to the refusal to grant National Council chairman Jamil Hasanli and APFP chairman Ali Karimli access to the courtroom. They ceased this protest and turned to face the court when Jamil Hasanli and Ali Karimli entered the courtroom;
 Defendant Javad Babakishizade’s lawyer Gunay, Ali Nuriyev’s lawyer Aydin Gafarov, Abbas Tagizade’s lawyer Ulkar Yusifova, and Alibala Valiyev’s lawyer Rubaba Ismayilova filed a motion to replace their client’s pretrial detention with house arrest in view of their health problems and the fact that they were the only breadwinners of their families. The defendants supported their lawyers’ motion. The other lawyers also solicited the court to grant the motion. However, the motion was denied;
 The court granted none of the motions filed by the lawyers, except the one requesting that copies of the expert reports on the police officers killed during the special operation carried out in Nardaran, the autopsy protocol and the incident scene examination documents be served on the lawyers.

Baku Grave Crimes Court, chaired by Judge Alovsat Abbasov, held a preliminary hearing on the criminal case of Muslim Union Movement’s Chairman Taleh Bagirzade, Jabrayilov Rasim Mirzababa oglu, Mustafayev Zakir Tapdig oglu, Jabbarov Jabbar Amirkhan oglu, Babakishizade Jahad Babahuseyn oglu, Abdulaliyev Shamil Adil oglu, Ismayilov Agil Azer oglu, Yariyev Ramin Maharram oglu, Guliyev Abbas Abdulrahman oglu, Khudaverdiyev Ibrahim Mammad oglu, Ismayilov Etibar Rasim oglu, Asgarov Bahruz Rahib oglu, Nuriyev Ali Hasrat oglu, Valiyev Alibala Javad oglu, Balayev Farhad Nasraddin oglu and Tagizade Abbas Hafiz oglu, who are charged under Articles 120.2.1 (homicide, committed by a group of people, a group of people on preliminary arrangement, an organized group or a criminal community/organization), 120.2.3 (homicide, of the victim or his close relatives in connection to performance of service or public duty by the victim), 120.2.4 (homicide, committed with special cruelty or in publicly dangerous way), 120.2.7 (homicide, of two or more persons), 120.2.12 (homicide, with the motive of national, racial, religious hatred or enmity), 29 (attempted crime), 214.2.1 (terrorism, committed by a group of people on preliminary arrangement, an organized group or a criminal community/organization), 28 (preparing to commit a crime), 214.2.3 (terrorism, committed with use of fire-arms or objects used as a weapon), 214-2 (open calls for terrorism), 220.2 (incitement to active insubordination to lawful demands of a representative of authority and to mass disorders, as well as to violence against citizens), 228.3 (illegal acquisition, transfer, selling, storage, transportation or carrying of fire-arms, their accessories, supplies and explosives, committed by an organized group), 228.4 (illegal acquisition, selling or carrying of a gas weapon, cold steel, as well as a throwing weapon, except for places where carrying of a cold steel is an accessory of a national suit or is connected to hunting), 278 (violent seizure or retention of power), 279 (creation of armed formations or groups not provided for by the legislation), 281.2 (public appeals directed against the state, committed repeatedly or by a group of people), 283.2.3 (instigation of national, racial, social or religious hatred and hostility, committed by an organized group), and 315.2 (resistance to or use of violence against a representative of authority) of the Criminal Code, Huseynov Abbas Mammadbagir oglu, who is also charged under Article 233 (organization of actions violating public order or active participation in such actions) of the Criminal Code in addition to the above charges, and APFP Deputy Chairman Fuad Gahramanli, who is charged under Articles 220.2 (making calls for active insubordination to lawful requirements of representatives of authority and for mass disorders, as well as violence against citizens), 281.2 (public appeals directed against the state, committed repeatedly or by a group of people) and 283.2.1 (instigation of national, racial, social or religious hatred and hostility, by using or threatening to use violence) of the Criminal Code. An armed incident occurred between a group of believers and policemen in Nardaran settlement of Baku on November 26, 2015, during an operation conducted by the police. According to official reports, the shootout resulted in the death of six, including two police officers. Taleh Bagirzade, the leader of the Muslim Union Movement, and several believers were detained as part of the operation. A criminal case has been launched on the fact and is investigated by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan Republic. Fuad Gahramanli was arrested on December 8, 2015. His lawyer Yalchin Imanov said that Fuad Gahramanli was arrested due to his Facebook posts and his case was merged with the criminal case of the people arrested over the Nardaran incidents.
At today’s hearing, the accused persons turned their faces to the wall inside the courtroom cage where they were held. Asked by judge why they were doing so, they replied it was a response to the refusal to grant National Council chairman Jamil Hasanli and APFP chairman Ali Karimli access to the courtroom. They said they were unwilling to turn toward the judges as long as Jamil Hasanli and Ali Karimli were not let in. The court supervisors said there were not any vacant seats. Family members of some defendants agreed to give up their seats to Jamil Hasanli and Ali Karimli and the two entered the courtroom. After that, the defendants ceased their silent protest and turned to face the court.

Next, defendant Javad Babakishizade’s lawyer Gunay, Ali Nuriyev’s lawyer Aydin Gafarov, Abbas Tagizade’s lawyer Ulkar Yusifova, and Alibala Valiyev’s lawyer Rubaba Ismayilova filed a motion to replace their client’s pretrial detention with house arrest in view of their health problems and the fact that they were the only breadwinners of their families. The defendants supported their lawyers’ motion. The other lawyers also solicited the court to grant the motion.

Public prosecutor Nasib Bayramov commented on the motions lodged by the lawyers at both previous and today’s hearings. He said there was no need to grant the motions. According to him, the motion seeking termination of the court proceedings and return of the case to the investigating agency due to violation of the right of defense was groundless. The prosecutor stressed that the defense counsels had been given enough time to review the case materials and they had done so. He also noted that the defendants could obtain copies of necessary documents by applying to the court.

In relation to the request to exclude inadmissible evidence, the public prosecutor said that evidence assessment was part of trial, not preliminary phase.

As for the motion to release some defendants under house arrest because of health issues, the prosecutor said they could apply to the management of the detention facility or the Penitentiary Service and receive necessary medical aid, if they had health problems.

The prosecutor requested rejection of the motion to audio record or videotape the proceedings, saying that hearings were written down in court transcripts.

After that, Taleh Bagirzade repeated his motion to remove the booklet titled “Haji Taleh Bagirzade’s Appeal” from the list of evidence, which he had filed during the previous hearing. “During the investigation, they brought charges against us under 23 Articles. All of the charges were based on that booklet. They have “found” a copy of that booklet in the houses of all those arrested. There are such errors in the text of the booklet that are a giveaway that it is trumped-up and it was concocted after November 26. It also goes to show that the charges are trumped-up, too. In addition to errors, the booklet contains the following sentence “Taleh Bagirzade says stand up against thieve Ilham Aliyev.” Just like the booklet itself, this sentence also has nothing to do with me. That booklet has been devised by one of the law enforcement agencies, and this sentence was put there by officials of that agency. State officials have run amok so much so that they write such a sentence about their leader. Who has written this? What does it mean to write it in my name? I will name the persons who have prepared this booklet in the course of the proceedings. This motion decides the fate of this case,” Taleh Bagirzade said.

The court granted none of the motions filed by the lawyers, except the one requesting that copies of the expert reports on the police officers killed during the special operation carried out in Nardaran, the autopsy protocol and the incident scene examination documents be served on the lawyers.

The dismissal of the motions caused the protest of the defendants. “Please order that I am not brought to the court at all, because it is not a trial, it is a charade. Rather than hold a trial in such a way, give me a life sentence and let me go and serve it. You are not holding a trial here. You are defending the government which oppresses the people. You are covering up the atrocities that zombie police officers have committed against us. It’s people’s fate that is at stake here. We are not playthings for you,” defendant Abbas Huseynov said.

The presiding judge warned him, by saying that he was breaking the rules.

The trial date was set for August 3, 10.00am.