The judge evicted Polad Aslanov from the courtroom

tərəfindən Gozetci

The trial in the case of journalist Polad Aslanov continued in the Baku Court of Appeal under the chair of Judge Hasan Ahmedov. Despite the hearings was open, media representatives were not allowed into the hall. Only after the protests of Gulmira Aslanova, the spouses of the journalist, one journalist and one human rights activist were allowed to the trial.  G. Aslanova told reporters after the court hearing, her husband challenged the composition of the court.

Polad Aslanov believes that the judge G. Ahmedov “considers the cases of political prisoners by order.”  Polad Aslanov also demanded to remove three persons in civilian clothes from the courtroom. Aslanov recognized them as operatives involved in his case.  When the judge said they were “journalists”, Aslanov invited them to tell which media body they represent. After that, the judge removed P. Aslanov from the courtroom and then the trial was conducted without the participation of the accused.

Gulmira Aslanova also said that her husband was on hunger strike for five days, but in the pre-trial detention center, no one was interested in his health. The journalist was not taken under medical supervision or isolated from other prisoners. In turn, lawyer Elchin Sadygov told reporters that the defense had put forward a number of motions. In particular, the lawyer asked to question six witnesses during the consideration of the appeal, whose participation in the court of first instance was not ensured. The lawyer also requested that the court examine Aslanov’s computer and mobile phone, since the information extracted from them had been falsified.

The defense also requested a copy of the video recording of Polad Aslanov’s interrogation on June 12-13, 2019, and petitioned to change the measure of restraint to house arrest.

After 3-4 minutes of deliberation, the court announced that all petitions were rejected, and hearings on the merits were scheduled for February 15.

The ombudsman’s office told the Turan correspondent that P. Aslanov’s wife had contacted this structure and reported about his hunger strike. However, Baku pre-trial detention center N1 did not confirm the information about Aslanov’s hunger strike. Nevertheless, P. Aslanov’s question is in the spotlight and representatives of the Ombudsman will meet with him in the near future during the next visit to the pre-trial detention center, the Office of the Ombudsman said.

* On November 16, Polad Aslanov, the founder of the site, was found guilty of espionage for Iran by the court and sentenced to 16 years in prison. The state prosecutor asked to sentence him to 17 years. Aslanov was arrested on June 12, 2019 and charged under the Article 274 of the Criminal Code (treason). The investigation claims that Aslanov recruited fellow journalists and persuaded them to cooperate with the Iranian special services. Aslanov denied all charges, claiming that he was being prosecuted for exposing the facts of corruption on the part of intelligence officers. International organizations condemned his arrest, calling for the release of Aslanov.

On February 1, consideration of P. Aslanov’s appeal began. During the trial, he announced a hunger strike, demanding to ensure the objectivity of the process.


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