Ali Kerimli, the leader of the oppositional Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), making a speech after the court session. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the "Caucasian Knot"

08 January 2019, 18:28

Azerbaijani oppositionists treated cruelly, defenders report

At a trial in a case on illegal financing of the opposition in Azerbaijan, the defence has claimed that the defendants had been tortured.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on January 7, six members of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) were detained in front of the Baku Court on Grave Crimes when they had come to attend a trial in a case, in which Agil Magerramov, a member of the PFPA Presidium, Ruslan Nasirli, the Majlis chair of the PFPA's youth committee, and Babek Gasanov, the head of a PFPA regional organization, had been detained.

Law enforcers accused the PFPA activists, including Russian citizen Salekh Rustamov and Vidadi Rustamli, detained on May 9 and 10, of money laundering. According to his relatives, Rustamov pleaded guilty under torture.

According to Tezakhan Miralamli, a press officer of the PFPA, an advocate pointed to "the inhuman treatment of Rustamli" during the preliminary investigation. Rustamli was kept in custody for almost three days without any charge or court decision.

"The whole accusation is based on the fact that the money from Russia was transferred to support the PFPA. Even if some Azerbaijanis in Russia, including Salekh Rustamov, made donations to the PFPA, there were no elements of a crime in those acts," explained Javad Javadov, an advocate of defendant Babek Gasanov.

According to investigators, Salekh Rustamov monthly took money from citizens of Azerbaijan engaged in business in Russia to support the activities of the PFPA.

Fariz Namazly, an advocate of Ruslan Nasirli, has noted that the case materials contain no evidence of money laundering.

"It is clear from the investigation materials that the money came from the income of Salekh Rustamov from his business in Russia. He was engaged in legal business, and there are no claims against him in Russia," the advocate noted.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 8, 2019 at 02:31 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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