Non-existent witness called on to testify in case against Azerbaijani opposition member
A non-existent individual has been called to the witness box to testify against Musavat opposition party member Tofiq Yaqublu in a Baku court – and been substituted by someone else entirely.
Despite this discovery, the judge presiding over the case did not consider it necessary to suspend the session.
Yagublu’s trial is taking place in the Nizami District Court of Baku. He is accused of hooliganism.
According to the case files, Yaqublu stands accused of beating and severely injuring a married couple on March 22, 2020 following a car crash.
He and his associates categorically deny the charge.
Yagublu served two years in 2014-2016 on charges of ‘organizing mass protests’. He then received 30 days of arrest for participating in a mass opposition protest in Baku on October 19, 2019.
Journalists are not allowed to attend court sessions.
Therefore, all information comes to the media only through lawyers and Yaqublu’s relatives.
The daughter of the political prisoner Nigar Hazi, who was present at the meeting, said a certain ‘Javanshir Novruzov’ was invited as a witness.
However, the speaker turned out to be another person, whose name is recorded in his documents as Novruz Novruzov.
Lawyers checked the data on Javanshir Novruzov in the state portal, it turned out that such a person does not exist at all. An appeal was sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs to establish the identity of the invited witness.
However, the judge dismissed the lawsuit by the defenders and continued the hearing.
Another witness in the case is a 15-year-old schoolboy.
Nigar Hazi writes that the boy said that he saw with his own eyes how Yagublu injured the married couple. At the same time, he kept looking back at his mother, who was also sitting in the hall.
“Over the years, the authorities have taught adult men to dishonor, and now they have begun to educate minors in the same spirit,” Tofig Yagublu’s daughter Nigar cited him as saying in court.