Victim Police Officers Testify in Trial on Second Nardaran Case

April 14th, 2017

Summary: 14th hearing

> Officers of Sabunchu District Police Department Shahid Abdullayev, Mehman Madatov, Elnur Sharifov and Khatai Mammadov testified as victims in the case.

On 14 April, Baku Grave Crimes Court chaired by Judge Mayil Bayramov held another hearing on the criminal case of Muslim Union Movement (MUM) chairman Taleh Bagirzade’s deputy Elchin Gasimov and MUM members Nahid Gahramanov, Aghaali Yahyayev, Seyfaddin Shirvanov, Farhad Muradov, Ramil Aliyev, Elgun Akhundov, Vusal Alishov, Isa Ibrahimov, Seymur Aslanov, Ali Shahbazov and Amirali Aliyev.

At the hearing, Sabunchu District Police Department’s officers recognised as victims testified on the episode of defendant Aghaali Yahyayev.

Junior Inspector of Criminal Investigation of Police Station #12 of Sabunchu District Police Department, victim Shahid Abdullayev testified that he was at a football event at Tofig Bahramov Stadium on 5 November 2015, when he was informed by the duty section of Sabunchu District Police Department that a crowd was violating public order and rioting outside the Department. As he recounts it, he went to the Department and saw a group of people chanting slogans in front of the Department building and demanding the release of Elchin Gasimov. According to him, he and other officers wore special gears and left to confront the crowd, among whom Aghaali Yahyayev was particularly active. Stones, in his words, were being thrown on the police officers from the back of the crowd, and he was hit by a rock and sustained a leg injury but did not see who had thrown the rock. Abdullayev said he had no complaints or claims against the defendants.

Answering the public prosecutor’s question, the victim said he did not know the people who had gathered outside the police department but had later heard that Aghaali Yahyayev was one of those actively involved in the happenings.

The lawyers asked the victim how he knew defendant Aghaali Yahyayev. Abdullayev replied that he had seen Yahyayev in the temporary detention place of the District Police Department, but he failed to answer the question about the circumstances in which he had entered there.

Aghaali Yahyayev said the victim was telling a lie. He said it was impossible for Abdullayev to see him in the temporary detention place of Sabunchu District Police Department because he had never been there. Yahyayev noted that following his detention, he had been tortured in Sabunchu District Police Department, held in a car overnight, taken to the court in the morning, and sent to the detention centre for administratively arrested people. It also turned out that no investigative measures of identification or confrontation had been arranged between victim Abdullayev and defendant Aghaali Yahyayev during the preliminary investigation phase.

During his cross-examination of the victim, Aghaali Yahyayev was disgruntled by the fact that Judge Mayil Bayramov was giving cues to the police officer and hindering the defendant by interrupting his questions. It led to an argument between Yahyayev and the judge. The defendant accused the judge of being biased.

Next, Junior Inspector of Criminal Investigation of Police Station #15 of Sabunchu District Police Department, victim Mehman Madatov was questioned. His testimony was similar to that of Shahid Abdullayev. He said some of the rocks thrown by the rioting mob in front of Sabunchu

District Police Department on 5 November 2015 hit him in the leg. He also said he had no complaints or claims against the defendants.

Junior Inspector of Criminal Investigation Division of Sabunchu District Police Department, victim Elnur Sharifov said he had suffered a minor injury as a result of the rocks thrown from among the rioting crowd outside Sabunchu District Police Department on 5 November 2015. Elnur Sharifov also said he did not have any complaints or claims against the defendants.

After that, Officer of Post Patrol Service Section of Sabunchu District Police Department, victim Khatai Mammadov gave testimony. In accord with the other victims’ testimonies, he noted that he had lost his handcuffs and rubber baton while he was stuck among the rioting mob and the thrown rocks had cracked his helmet and protective shield. He, too, noted that he had no complaints or claims against the defendants.

The next hearing was set for 28 April, 12.30 pm.

Background: Muslim Union Movement deputy chairman Elchin Gasimov was arrested on 5 November 2015. He was initially charged under Article 310 (wilful disobedience to lawful requirements of a police officer) of the Administrative Violations Code and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. Afterwards, a criminal case was initiated against him and he was arrested. He and his co-defendants were charged with terrorism; incitement to terrorism; incitement to active disobedience to lawful demands of the representative of authority, riots and violence against citizens; illegal acquisition, transfer, selling, storage, transportation and carrying of firearms, accessories and ammunition as an organised group; violent seizure or retention of power; formation of armed groups not provided for in the legislation; making open appeals against the state; instigation of national, racial, social or religious hatred and hostility as an organised group; forgery, illegal production and selling of official documents, state awards, seals, stamps and forms, or knowing use of fake documents; hooliganism; and, resistance or use of violence against the representative of authority.

Muslim Union Movement chairman Taleh Bagirzade was arrested during an operation conducted in Nardaran on 26 November 2015. Bagirzade stood trial in Baku Grave Crimes Court along with 17 other men including APFP deputy chairman Fuad Gahramanli. On 25 January, the Court sentenced Bagirzade to 20 years, Gahramanli to 10 years, and others to between 10 and 20 years in jail.