The court’s ruling is unjustified and contradicts to the law and public interest


Gubad Ibadoglu

Analysis of violation of law during Gubad Ibadoglu’s judicial proceedings

Baku City Narimanov District Court

Case № 4(005)-1112/2023

24 July 2023

Presiding judge: Vusal Qurbanov

Defender: Zubeida Sadiqova

Defendant: Gubad Ibadoglu

Attended by: Yusif Yusifov, a Chief Investigator of the Investigation Department for Combating Organised Crime within the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Azerbaijan Republic, and Jafar Hasanov, a Prosecutor of the Department of Supervision over Execution of Legislation in Investigation, Inquiry and Operative Investigation Activities within the Internal Affairs Bodies of the Azerbaijan Republic

Gubad Ibadoglu was born in 1971 in Fuzuli district of Azerbaijan. He obtained the secondary school education at a boarding school with a physics and mathematics bias, and he graduated from the State Economic University of Azerbaijan in 1992, then in 1996 he accomplished the postgraduate studies. In 1999-2000 he carried out scientific researches in different European universities. G. Ibadoglu was a member of the “Musavat” party, in 2014, he was nominee for the party chairmanship in the elections, but lost it to Arif Hajili, another party member. On 6 February 2015, he was expelled from the party. On 21 February 2016, he was elected Chairman of the Azerbaijan Democracy and Prosperity Movement.

  1. Ibadoglu was a lecturer at the University of London, as well as the author and co-author of many publications in the field of physics and economics.

On 20 July 2023, a criminal case under the Articles 204.1 (Manufacturing with a view of selling, and also buying or selling of counterfeit money, state securities either foreign currency, or securities in foreign currency) and 228.1 (Illegal purchase, transfer, selling, storage, transportation or carrying of fire-arms, accessories to it, supplies (except for the smooth-bore hunting weapon and ammunition to it), explosives) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic was brought against a certain A.A. at the Department for Combating Organised Crime within the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan.

On 24 July 2023, Gubad Ibadoglu was brought to that criminal case under the Article 204.3.1 (Manufacturing with a view of selling, and also buying or selling of counterfeit money, state securities either foreign currency, or securities in foreign currency committed by organized group) of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.

The Baku City Narimanov District Court, considering the imposition of a preventive measure against G. Ibadoglu, ruled to impose a preventive measure in the form of arrest in view of the fact that the accused could escape from the authority in charge of the criminal proceedings, illegally exert influence on the criminal proceedings parties, obstruct the normal pre-trial investigation by withholding the materials relevant to the criminal prosecution, re-commit the criminal offence, pose a danger to the society, and fail to appear at the trial. The Court also pointed out that, in issuing the judgement, it was taking into account the gravity and nature of the offence incriminated against the accused person.

On 24 July 2023, the Baku City Narimanov District Court issued a ruling: to grant the investigator’s petition and Prosecutor’s submission on arrest and elect a preventive measure against G.Ibadoglu in the form of arrest for a period of 4 months, i.e. until 20 November 2023.


Commentary by expert lawyer:

The court verdict is unlawful and unjustified. According to the Article 154.1 of the Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic, a restrictive measure is a coercive procedural measure intended to prevent unlawful behaviour by the suspect or accused during criminal proceedings and to ensure the execution of the sentence; it shall be applied in the cases described in Article 155.1 of this Code.

According to the Article 154.2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Azerbaijan Republic, restrictive measures may be the following:

  • arrest;
  • house arrest;
  • bail;
  • restraining order;
  • personal surety;
  • surety offered by an organisation;
  • police supervision;
  • supervision;
  • military observation;
  • removal from office or position.

The Article 155.1 of the AR CPC enumerates the grounds for applying a preventive measure. This is:

  • hidden from the prosecuting authority;
  • obstructed the normal course of the investigation or court proceedings by illegally influencing parties to the criminal proceedings, hiding material significant to the prosecution or engaging in falsification;
  • committed a further act provided for in criminal law or created a public threat;
  • failed to comply with a summons from the prosecuting authority, without good reason, or otherwise evaded criminal responsibility or punishment;
  • prevented execution of a court judgment.

The Court imposed the harshest preventive measure of arrest against G. Ibadoglu, while stating the following grounds: absconding from the authority conducting the criminal proceedings, exerting illegal pressure on the parties involved in the criminal proceedings, obstructing the preliminary investigation normal course by concealing the materials relevant to the criminal proceedings, repeated perpetration of an offence under the criminal law, endangering society, failure to appear without a valid reason when summoned by the authority conducting the investigation.

Apparently, the Court simply listed the grounds set out in the legislation. However, it failed either to consider each ground separately, or provide arguments justifying the imposition of a preventive measure in the form of arrest, and also the relevance of each ground to a particular individual. There is no information in the judgement that would prove the necessity of isolating the defendant from the society.

As mentioned above, G.Ibadoglu is a scientist physicist, author and co-author of many works on physics and economics, has experience and authority in the political life of the country. The Court, having chosen an arrest, did not take into account Gubad Ibadoglu’s personality, his authority, various regalia, his renown reputation as a scientist inside and outside the country.

In the court ruling, the Court referred to the Article 5 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms that protects an individual’s right to liberty and security. However, as usual, the Court interpreted the Article in its own way, without taking into account the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The ECHR stated that the use of a preventive measure in the form of arrest is admissible  if the interests of society outweigh an accused’s right to liberty i.e. if a person remains at liberty, it will cause negative emotions in public and create a danger for society.

In the case of G. Ibadoglu, it happened the opposite. His arrest led to a negative reaction in the civil society as well as international structures. Moreover, the incriminated against G.Ibadoglu Article, by and large, may harm the economic interests of the country but not the society as a whole.

According to the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), it must be reasonable suspicions for an arrest:

“Reasonable suspicion justifying detention is an essential element of the protection against arbitrary deprivation of liberty afforded by Article 5(1)(c). The existence of reasonable suspicion presupposes in advance the existence of facts or information that could convince an objective observer that an individual may have committed the offence. In addition, a constellation of factors will not be sufficient to ground reasonable suspicion where it amounts to only a generalized suspicion”.

The judgment of the European Court of Justice in the case of Letellier v. France of 26 June 1991 states:

“…by reason of their particular gravity and public reaction to them, certain offences may give rise to a social disturbance capable of justifying pre-trial detention, at least for a time – factor which might therefore, in exceptional circumstances, be taken into account for the purposes of the Convention, in any event in so far as domestic law recognises the notion of disturbance to public order caused by an offence – however, this ground can be regarded as relevant and sufficient provided only that it is based upon facts capable of showing that detainee’s release would actually disturb public order – in addition detention continues to be legitimate only if public order remains actually threatened – indictments divisions assessed need to continue the deprivation of liberty from purely abstract point of view, taking into consideration only gravity of offence.” –{%22fulltext%22:[%22Letellier%20v.%22],%22documentcollectionid2%22:[%22GRANDCHAMBER%22,%22CHAMBER%22],%22itemid%22:[%22001-57678%22]}

Thus, the Court’s reference to the precedents of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the prevalence of public interest over an individual’s right to liberty in this particular case has no grounds.

The Court was not guided by the principles of independence and impartiality and issued an order of arrest to satisfy the investigative authorities, failing to provide any arguments and grounds for the imposition of a preventive measure in the form of confinement in custody. The arrest of G. Ibadoglu is illegitimate; his arrest clearly pursues other goals not stipulated by the law. The illegitimate arrest has led to the violation of a fundamental right : the Right to Liberty, enshrined in the Article 28 of the Constitution of Azerbaijan, Article 5(1) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.