Witnesses testify in activist Omar Mammadov trial

May 13th, 2014

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On May 13, Baku Court on Grave Crimes held a hearing on the case of Facebook activist Omar Mammadov who is charged with illegal drug dealing. The process was chaired by Judge Eldar Mikayilov.

Two employees of the Interior Ministry’s Main Drug Enforcement Department, Agil Aliyev and Khayal Nasibov, as well as two circumstantial witnesses, Elnur Maharramov and Jeyhun Aliyev, testified as a witness in the process.

The policemen told the court that Mammadov was arrested based on the information about his drug possession.

Mammadov stated that an employee of the Drug Enforcement Department, by surname Alakbarov, punched him 8 times in the ribs to make him give self-incriminatory statement.

Later on the lawyers asked if Maharramov had ever been circumstantial witness in other cases before, to which he answered “no”.

In turn, the defense side presented copies of decisions of Baku Grave Crimes Court, Nasimi and Narimanov district courts, which bore Maharramov’s name as circumstantial witness.

The judge declined to enclose this document to the case file, which according to lawyer Hasanov, is an unprecedented violation of the law.

Mammadov himself noted that when he was detained there were no circumstantial witnesses, that he saw all these men at Drug Enforcement Department where they were signing some documents. At that point Maharramov asked why Mammadov engaged in politics, “when everything is fine in the country.”

The court process will continue on May 22, at 11:00 am.

Background: Omar Mammadov is a member of Civil Solidarity party and the head of the “Akhin” (Flow) youth movement. After his arrest he re-joined NIDA movement. Mammadov was active user of social networks. Notably he was one of the admin of the Facebook Page “Exclusives from AzTV” which shared cartoons, photo collage, and comments making fun of the officials’ mistakes. In January of 2014 he was arrested on charge of drug possession.