WITNESSES TESTIFY IN GANIMAT ZAHID’S HEARING

February 12th, 2008
Today in the Yasamal District Court a hearing on "Azadlig" Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Ganimat Zahid's case was conducted under the chairmanship of Judge Sudaba Mammadova. During the hearing witnesses gave testimony.

Ikram Tahirov was the first witness to testify. Tahirov was driving by "Azerbayjan Publishing House" when the altercation between Zahid and Vusal Hasanov, that led to Zahid's arrest took place. He told the court, "I witnessed the incident for an instant. But I saw that one of the fighters hit another with his fist." The state prosecutor then asked Tahirov, "Who hit whom?" To this, I. Tahirov answered, "G. Zahidov hit Vusal Hasanov." Then G.Zahidov asked Tahirov, "How did you recognize me?" To this Zahidov responed, "I didn't know you. It was only after I was shown your picture at the police department and was told that it was G. Zahidov did I know it was you."
 Later defense lawyers cross examined Tahirov. Lawyer Osman Kazimov asked Tahirov how many times he gave testimony at the police department. He answered, "Two days after the incident police employees pulled me over and told me go to Yasamal District Police Department. After a few days I went to the indicated address, gave a statement and signed it." Then the lawyer asked Tahirov this question, "How did police know that this car belonged to you?" Tahirov said he didn't know.
 After this, the lawyer noted, "Tahirov's car was caught under radar. We petitioned to see the footage, but our petition was denied. And Tahirov made statement in the police department twice not once. No protocol was composed when the pictures of G. Zahidov and Vusal Hasanov were shown."
 Then Guard police Etibar Hummatov, who was on duty at Azerbaijan Publishing House, took the witness stand. He said he didn't witness the incident. "My colleagues told me that G. Zahidov's jacket was torn," he said.
 Taxi driver Nurmammadov Babayar who took V.Hasanov and S.Guliyeva from the accident zone also gave testimony. He said, "I was standing on the opposite side of the printing house when Hasanov approached me and said, 'Can you take me to "Galaba" cinema?' Then he and Guliyeva sat in the car. When I saw Vusal he didn't have any signs of blood on his face. On the contrary, I noticed he was in a good mood."
 In previous testimony Vusal Hasanov stated that he didn't know Zahidov personally; that is why defense lawyers invited Seymur Haziyev and Ingilab Karimov as witnesses. Both witnesses emphasized that Zahidov and Vusal Hasanov know each other. They stated that Vusal Hasanov used to visit "Azadlig" Newspaper's previous address at 33 Khagani Street and repeatedly spent time in the teahouse of the newspaper's editorial office.
 After witnesses were heard, Vusal Hasanov started insulting G. Zahidov using bad language. Although lawyer Elchin Sadigov filed a petition to inform Yasamal Prosecutor's Office about V. Hasanov's actions, but the judge didn't pay attention to it. The next hearing on this case is scheduled for 14 February at 11am.