At the trial of Anar Mammadli Court of Appeal rejected all petitions

The Baku Court of Appeal chaired by Aflatun Gasimov today held a preliminary hearing on the case of the convicted head of the Election Monitoring Center Anar Mammadli and two other activists, Bashir Suleymanli and Elnur Mammadov.

At the beginning of the session the defense applied for a permit to Mammadli and Mammadov to sit next to the lawyers. However, the judge rejected the request.

The Counsel Fariz Namazly advanced common application on behalf of all the defenders to replace the arrest of Mammadli and Suleymanli by house arrest.

The protection applied for carrying out a partial re-trial.

In particular, they wanted to re-interrogate the 18 victims who in the trial court stated they do not consider themselves as such.

The Court of Appeal may re-interview them and eliminate their victim status.

Moreover, the counsel pointed to uncertainty of the charges under article 308.2 (abuse of authority, grave consequences, or committed in order to influence the outcome of elections).

As noted Namazly, this article of the Criminal Code does not explain what is meant by “grave consequences” and does not specify how the impact on the election results could happen. The sentence also does not provide specific incriminating the defendants under this act.

The defense proposed in this connection to send a request to the Constitutional Court to give the interpretation of Article 308.2 of the Criminal Code.

The defense also petitioned the court to re-call the employee of the Ministry of Taxes Rafael Agayev and find out on what basis he interpreted the use of grants unregistered by the Ministry of Justice as illegal business.

The appeal also raises the question of justification of the three activists.

Anar Mammadli himself recalled that during the investigation the accused was questioned about the NGO’s report on the results of presidential elections in 2013 which in itself testifies to the political motives of the case.

State Prosecutor Rasul Abbasov spoke out against all applications. After the meeting (three minutes) the judge Gasimov announced that all the applications were rejected and scheduled a hearing for September 5.

* Anar Mammadli was sentenced to 5.5 years of imprisonment and the executive secretary of the NGO Bashir Suleymanli – for 3.5 years. For the same period was conditionally sentenced the head of the Public Association for International Cooperation Volunteers, Elnur Mammadov.

They were found guilty of tax evasion, illegal business, assignment, etc.

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