Witness testimonies reveal new facts in journalist’s case

June 14th, 2013

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On June 13 the Baku Grave Crimes Court held a hearing on the case of Tolishy Sado newspaper editor Hilal Mammadov. Judge Azer Orujov presided over the hearing. Hilal Mammadov filed a motion requesting that necessary measures be taken against Alakbar Khalafov, lieutenant-colonel of the Interior Ministry Department for Combating Drugs, for his expressions about him.  The panel denied the motion after a prompt deliberation.

The proceedings continued with a testimony by Galib Humbatov, employee of Interior Ministry Department for Combating Drugs. Humbatov said that having received information they went to the scene and conducted a search on Hilal Mammadov. Humbatov said they had found 30 grams of drugs on Mammadov, but Mammadov avoided giving explanation for this. Getting angry over the reaction of Hilal Mammadov’s family members, the witness used rude remarks and even did not refrain from insulting and threatening. Then witness answered the questions of the defense lawyers. However the judge made frequent interventions, ruling out the lawyer’s questions.

The defense lawyers asked the witness why the arrest report contained only 7 signatures, whereas it should bear 11 signatures. The witness avoided answering the questions saying that it was not him who prepared the report.  This being the case, the lawyers filed a petition for the arrest report to be removed from list of evidences claiming that it was not valid. This petition was denied as well. The judge scheduled the next hearing for June 19, 11 am.

Background: Hilal Mammadov was arrested on June 21, 2012, on charges of illegal possession of drugs in large quantities (Article 234.4.3/Criminal Code), treason (Article 274/Criminal Code), and incitement to national, racial, social and religious hatred and hostility (Article 283/Criminal Code).