Today, the Sheki Appeals Court held a hearing on the appeal of human rights defender Vidadi Isgandarli against the Goychay District Court’s August 27th, 2011 ruling sentencing him to 3 years in prison.  Judge Gadim Babayev presided over the hearing.

Isgandarli’s lawyer, Khalid Bagirov reported to IRFS.
Isgandarov, his lawyer Yalchin Imanov, his representative Khalid Bagirov, and public prosecutor Vidadi Jabbarov attended the hearing.
Khalid Bagirov said that Vidadi Isgandarov objected to the public prosecutor at the hearing and his lawyer, Yalchin Imanov, filed a motion requesting the court to allow photographing, filming, and voice recording, and to allow his client to sit by him in the hearing.  However, the judge only granted the last motion allowing Isgandarli to sit by his lawyer. The judge scheduled the next hearing for 2 November at 9:15am.
Vidadi Isgandarov ran in the November 2010 parliamentary elections for the Goychay-Agdash #89 seat. According to the indictment, Isgandarov entered election precinct #16 of Garabaglar village on voting day and obstructed the voting procedure by stealing 16 damaged ballot papers from the commission head. A few hours later he committed similar actions in precinct #17 in Mirzahuseynli village and precinct #2 in the House of Culture in Goychay.
Isgandarov was detained at the April 17th protest organized by the Public Chamber opposition coalition. He was initially sentenced to 15 days of administrative detention, then to pre-trial detention when the criminal case was launched.
Vidadi Isgandarov has been charged under Article 159.3 and 160.1 of the Criminal Code for obstructing the implementation of the right to vote and interfering or influencing the operation of election commissions. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to up to 3 years in jail.  On 27 August, 2011 Goychay District Court issued a decision to sentence human rights defender Vidadi Isgandarli to three years in jail.

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