In Azerbaijan, Tofiq Yagublu, Deputy Chairman of "Musavat" Party, faces more serious charge
Investigators filed a new charge against the Deputy Chairman of the "Musavat" Party, who was arrested in connection with the riots in Ismailly. At present, he faces charges not of organizing actions aimed at disturbing public order, but of organizing mass riots accompanied by violence and pogroms.
Tofiq Yagublu was arrested in February 2013 after the riots in the town of Ismailly that occurred on January 23-24. He was charged of rendering resistance to a representative of power with violence dangerous to life or health (Article 315.2 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan) and of organizing actions aimed at disturbing public order or participating in them (Article 233 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan).
The investigator has the defence informed in advance about filing the new charge, the "Caucasian Knot" was told by advocate Akif Alizade.
Today, the advocate has visited Yagublu in the Baku SIZO (pre-trial prison) No. 1, and in his presence, it was announced that the charges under Article 233 had been cancelled and that the new charge had been filed against the defendant under Article "Organizing mass riots accompanied by violence, pogroms, arsons, destruction of property or participating in such riots" (Article 220.1 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan).
"This Article is graver. If until present, by a combination of two Articles, Tofiq Yagublu faced up to seven years of imprisonment, then, at present, the maximum sentence can be 12 years of imprisonment," the advocate has explained.
According to the Akif Alizade's information, Tofiq Yagublu rejects both the new and the earlier charges and calls them fabricated.
"I also treat the charges as groundless. The resolution on the new charge mentions the facts that have nothing in common with Tofiq Yagublu. The resolution states that he allegedly incited people to some kind of arsons and stoning. However, no evidence is presented," advocate Akif Alizade said.
On January 23, residents of the town of Ismailly, being indignant about the behaviour of the manager of the "Chyrag" Hotel, who had committed a road traffic accident and insulted Ismailly residents, set on fire the hotel and several cars staying there. The crowd then crushed a villa belonging to Nizami Alekperov, the head of the District. On January 24, people tried several times to hold protest actions in front of the district administration demanding resignation of Nizami Alekperov; however, power agents dispersed the people using tear gas. As a result of the riots, according to the official figures, 32 persons were detained, and, according to the information of human rights activists, at least 150 persons were detained.
"On January 24, Tofiq Yagublu was sent to Ismailly by the editors of the newspaper 'Yeni Musavat', were he works as an observer. Tofiq Yagublu spent there a very short time, about a couple of hours, and the he was forcibly evicted from the District. He did not participate in any actions. We will prove in trial the groundlessness of all charges against Tofiq Yagublu," Akif Alizade has stated.
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