Leyla Yunus and Arif Yunus. Photo: RFE/RL

09 December 2015, 14:58

BCA releases Yunus spouses from serving prison sentence (+video)

The Baku Court of Appeal (BCA) has commuted the sentences for human rights defender Leyla Yunus and her husband Arif Yunus, a political analyst. The BCA has cancelled their sentences and replaced the actual terms of imprisonment with conditional imprisonment.

Leyla Yunus, the Director of the Institute of Peace and Democracy (IPD) and her husband Arif Yunus were accused of economic crimes and treason. On August 13, Leyla Yunus, was sentenced to 8.5 years of imprisonment, and Arif Yunus – to 7 years in prison. The spouses denied their guilt and declared the political nature of their case. The verdict was appealed against.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on December 7, at trial, the defence of Leyla and Arif Yunus asked the court to pronounce the verdict of not guilty on the appeal against the verdict or to pronounce sentence not involving deprivation of liberty. The defence has stated that the defendants will hardly survive in prison.

The BCA has sentenced Leila and Arif Yunus to 5 years of conditional imprisonment.

Meanwhile, Leyla Yunus has been acquitted under Article 320.1 (falsification of documents) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.

Leyla Yunus was released in the courtroom. Arif Yunus was released from custody on health grounds yet on November 12, and until the completion of the consideration of the appeal, he was under recognizance not to leave.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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