Baku Grave Crimes Court pronounced the verdict for Ahsan Nuruzade

Baku Grave Crimes Court pronounced the verdict for Ahsan Nuruzade

Analysis of violation of law during Ahsan Nuruzade’s judicial proceedings

The Baku Grave Crimes Court

Criminal case № 1(101)-339/2018

March 6, 2018

Chairman: Sabuhi Huseynov

Judges: Zeynal Agayev, Azad Madjidov

Prosecutor: Orkhan Damirli

Accused: Ahsan Nuruzade

Defender: Fariz Namazli Ahsan Nuruzade is a coordinator of the movement “Muslim Unity”. The chairman of the movement Tale Bagirov and all members of the Board were convicted for a long time of imprisonment terms on the so-called “Nardaran case”. Security personal have repeatedlyabducted Ahsan Nuruzade. After every abduction his family immediately contacted the police by calling number 102. And also contacted his lawyer. A few days after the abduction Ahsan Nuruzade released but do not always drew up a report on the reasons of detention. But from the beginning of 2017 police always watched A. Nuruzade.
On January 24, 2017 A. Nuruzade was abducted again near the house by unknown. Until January 30, 2017 police given no news of his whereabouts to his relatives and the lawyer. Finally, on January 30, 2017 the lawyer Yalchin Imanov had received a telephone call from the General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan and reported that A. Nuruzade is at them. When the lawyer to come to General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime he was told that A. Nuruzade were sent to the administrative detention center of the Baku Police Headquarters. Subsequently it became known that A. Nuruzade was prosecuted on a charge of insubordination to the police and sentenced by Narimanov District Court of Baku City to 10 days’ administrative detention.
On September 19, 2017 his family informed to the lawyer about yet another abduction. By day, A. Nuruzade was not far from home in sportswear and house-shoes. He was confronted by four unknown men who forced him into the car and drove to an unknown direction. Neighbors confirmed that they had watched as Nuruzade was abducted. It’s been five hours, but his whereabouts was not known to his family members and lawyer. On the same day the lawyer requested to all relevant structures but did not found any information about it. After a while A. Nuruzade was released.
As noted above, A. Nuruzade was a coordinator of the movement “Muslim Unity”, was actively involved in all trials over believers, helped families of the detainees and criticized policy of the authorities in social networks.
The National Council of the Democratic Forces of Azerbaijan appointed rally on October 7, 2017. A day before, on October 6 A. Nuruzade on social network called to citizens come to the rally. The same day he was detained by the officers of General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
On October 6, 2017 the chief Department for Combating against religious extremism of General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Iftikhar Rustamov has compiled a protocol for detention of A. Nuruzade.
Concerning A. Nuruzade were initiated a criminal case under article 234.4.3 (manufacturing, purchase, storage, transfer, transportation or selling drug with a view of illegal
manufacturing and processing of narcotics or psychotropic substances in large amount) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic (CC AR). At the end of investigation the case was transferred to the Baku Grave Crimes Court. On March 6, 2018 the Baku Grave Crimes Court found A. Nuruzade guilty of committing accusations and sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment.
Commentary by an expert lawyer: A court verdict is illegal and unreasonable. According to article 10.1. и 349.4. of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Azerbaijan Republic (CCP AR), a court verdict is lawful if it was pronounced in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution, CCP AR and other laws of the Azerbaijan Republic. A court verdict is lawful when it both in form and content is consistent with the Constitution and other laws of Azerbaijan.
According to article 349.5. of the CCP, in the following cases the court judgment shall be considered well-founded: 349.5.1. if the conclusions at which the court arrives are based only on the evidence
examined during the court’s investigation of the case; 349.5.2. if the evidence is sufficient to assess the charge; 349.5.3. if the facts established by the court are consistent with the evidence
According to article 351.3 of CCP AR, if the court gives an affirmative answer on the matters set out in Article 346.1.1-346.1.6 of this Code, the guilt of the accused may be regarded as proven, as follows: 351.3.1. bearing in mind the presumption of innocence; 351.3.2. on the basis of the results of the court’s examination of the charge in
accordance with the rules set out in this Code; 351.3.3. on the basis of the reliable and admissible evidence examined during the
court’s investigation of the case; 351.3.4. interpreting in his favour any doubts as to the guilt of the accused which cannot
be removed
The criminal trial against Ahsan Nuruzade was conducted with total procedural violations. Let’s look at them in detail.
In the report of detention from October 6, 2017 indicated that A. Nuruzade was detained and brought to General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and only after 3 hours and 5 minutes a report of detention was drawn up. In article 153.2. of CCP AR stated: “To secure the rights of the detainee, the officials of the prosecuting authority and those in charge of the temporary detention facility shall:
        153.2.1. inform the detainee immediately after detaining him of the grounds for
detention, and explain to him his right not to testify against himself and his close
relatives as well as his right to the assistance of defence counsel; 153.2.2. take the detainee without delay to the police or other preliminary investigating
authority’s temporary detention facility, register the detention, draw up a record and
show him the detention record; 153.2.3. report each instance of detention, immediately after registration in the
temporary detention facility, to the head of the appropriate preliminary investigating
authority and to the prosecutor in charge of the procedural aspects of the investigation
(this information shall be given in writing within 12 hours of detention); 153.2.4. secure the right of the person to inform others of his detention immediately
after detention (the authority in charge of the temporary detention facility, on his own
initiative, shall inform the family members of any detainees who are elderly, under age
or unable to do so themselves because of their mental state); 153.2.5. provide opportunities for the person, from the moment of detention, to meet in
private and in confidence with his lawyer and legal representative under decent
conditions and under supervision.”
As it will be seen in text of the article 153.2.2. of CCP AR, the fact of detention must be recorded immediately, not some three hours after as was done during A. Nuruzade’s detention. According to article 147.5. of CCP AR in the detention report indicate following:
147.5.1. place, date and time of report.
As mentioned above, head Department for Combating against religious extremism of General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Iftikhar Rustamov has compiled a report for detention of A. Nuruzade. But according to the charge on drugs, this report must be drawn up setting out by the employee from the Department for Fighting Against Drug Trafficking.
In article 153.2.4. of CCP AR states about the right of the person to inform members of family of his detention immediately after detention. In the report indicated that the family members had been reported about A. Nuruzade’s detention, however did not stated – in what form this information was provided (by fax, phone, telegram etc.).
According to the personal search and seizure report on October 6, 2017, A. Nuruzade had three sachets with heroin. Each of sachets was packed and put in envelopes in the presence of three witnesses. In report indicated that Nuruzade did not answered the questions, where in his pocket drugs, from whom he purchased them and under what conditions.
A. Nuruzade was abducted at 13:00, according to the report inspection started at 14:10 and was completed at 14:40. This means that inspection was not carried out immediately after detention, but only 1 hour 40 minutes later.
It is unknown where he was held all this time and why inspection was not conducted during detention. A personal survey of A. Nuruzade was carried out without a court order. Inspection was carried out before attraction him as the suspect, which is illegal. In paragraph 28 of the Plenum’s Decision of the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan on May 4, 2011 “About court practice in criminal cases on illicit drug traffic in narcotic and psychotropic drugs or their precursors” stated: “… in establishment of the fact of carrying out personal inspection  before drawing up the report of detention as a suspect (without a court order on personal inspection) the court must be express his attitude and resolve an issue of the admissibility of the obtained evidence according to articles 125.1., 125.2.1. and 125.2.7. of CCP AR”.
It is evident from the protocol of survey on October 6, 2017 that personal inspection was conducted by the Head Department on fight against organized crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Iftikhar Rustamov. According to article 246.3. of CCP AR, a body search and seizure shall be conducted by the investigator in the presence of a specialist and at least two circumstantial witnesses who are of the same sex as the person on whom the body search is being conducted. That is, this investigative action (without a court order or with him) are only by the investigator.  Mr Rustamov is not an investigator that is why he did not have the legal authority to conduct a search. As can be seen, detention, body search and seizure were conducted with serious procedural violations.
The court didn’t investigate and have not checked question of legitimacy of prosecution evidence. Also, the court did not consider the lack of plenitude of evidence. According to article 145.1. of CCP AR, all evidence shall be assessed as to its relevance, credibility and reliability.
The defence has provided to the court all violations above-stated during the investigation. However, the court didn’t react to it, not expressed his views and not presented counterarguments to those arguments that were presented by defence. According to article 145.1. By the Code of Criminal Procedure ARE, if suspicions which emerge during the process of proving the charge cannot be
removed by other evidence, they shall be interpreted in favour of the suspect or
In judgements of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in case of Layijov v. Azerbaijan on April 10, 2014 the ECHR especially noted and recognized as a violation that complainant raised the issue of laws of Azerbaijan before the national courts. However, courts did not respond and have not given a legal assessment in their decisions. – HYPERLINK “”{%22itemid%22:[%22001-142306%22]}During sentenced Ahsan Nurizade not only national law was violated, but also the norms of the international legislation, in particular articles of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms: – article 3 “Prohibition of tortures”, – article 5 (1) “Right to liberty and security of person”, – article 6 (1) “Right to a fair trial”, – article 6 (3) (d) “to examine or have examined witnesses against him and
to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on
his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against
him”, – article 18 “Limitation on use of restrictions on rights”.
All the above shows that the court and A. Nuruzade’s sentence were politically motivated.