Investigation in the case of Tofig Yagublu

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[:en]On July 24, a preparatory meeting was held in the Nizami District Court of Baku on the case of Tofig Yagublu, a member of the National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF) and the Musavat party. He denied the accusation and called the case fabricated on a political order. Defense motions were rejected. The hearing on the merits is scheduled for August 5.

The preparatory session on the Yagublu case was held on July 24 under the chair of Nariman Mehdiyev, judge of the Nizami district court of Baku. Despite the trial was open, journalists and representatives were not allowed to the trial under the pretext of a quarantine regime.

Politician’s daughter Nigar Hazi told reporters at the preparatory meeting, the lawyers challenged the composition of the court. The reason for this was the manifestation of the judge’s bias. So, when the bailiffs wanted to take from Yagublu a folder with the materials of the case, on which he wrote: “exposure of dishonor”, the judge supported the security officials said, “This is not a rally.” After that, lawyers Elchin Sadigov and Agil Laijev challenged the composition of the court.

The defenders say that  by saying “this is not rally here”,  the judge  has  demonstrated his bias for the case and disregard for Yagublu’s political views. According to the law, the challenge was to be considered by a higher instance – the Baku Court of Appeal. However, the judge himself decided to leave the challenge not considered. According to Khazi, the lawyers filed a motion to terminate the criminal case due to the lack of reliable evidence of Yagublu’s guilt.  If this petition was not satisfied, the lawyers asked to change the measure of restraint and release Yagubla pending the sentencing. Another petition concerned the return of Yagublu’s car to his family. However, the judge did not grant any of the motions and scheduled a hearing on the merits for 5 August.

During the trial, Yagublu announced that the charges were falsified for political reasons.

He believes that the authorities are taking revenge on him for his political activities and criticism of the regime.

* On March 22, a car driven by Elkhan Jabrailov drove into a parked car in which Tofig Yagublu was sitting. After that, Jabrailov started a fight with Yagublu, accusing him of the accident.

The police of the Nizami district filed a lawsuit under  the Article 221.3 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism using objects as weapons). Yagublu himself and his colleagues called the incident a provocation in order to condemn the opposition leader for his criticism of the government on social networks. International human rights organizations condemned the arrest of Yagublu. Yagublu was previously sentenced to three years in 2013 on charges of inciting riots in Ismayilli.

He was also arrested on October 19, 2019 for participating in an uncoordinated National Council protest and was tortured by the police.


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