Today in Sabail district court, the public prosecutor gave his closing statements and requested that the accused be sentenced to four years’ imprisonment.
David Huseynov has been brought to trial in connection with the murder of journalist Rasim Aliyev. He is charged not as a direct offender in the crime, but as having had knowledge of the premeditated murder and failure to report on an imminent crime.
Five before him were sentenced, including a cousin and fellow football player, who were accused of indirect involvement in the death of Rasim Aliyev. The prosecutor asked the court to find Huseynov guilty on charges 307.1 and 307.2 — failure to report an imminent and serious crime — of the criminal codex.
The football player’s lawyer, Adem Mamedov, said that the defense was not in agreement with the accusation.
Supposedly, Huseynov did not know of the involvement of his friends in the attack on the journalist, and found out about the event only from the press. A new witness and friend of the deceased, Aydin Mahmudov, affirmed this fact today in court.
The lawyer also objected to the overly severe punishment demanded by the prosecution. In the judicial practice of Azerbaijan, the principle of absorption applies, in which the larger sentence out-weighs the smaller sentence, and sentences given by different articles are not to be considered cumulative.
Thus, the lawyer said, if found guilty, his client should face either 2 years — as prescribed by article 307.1 — or 3 years, as prescribed by 307.3. But, given the suggestion of the prosecution, the lawyer said he felt that the case had become ‘politicized.’
The next court hearing will begin at 12:00 on the 16th of May.
The conflict between Aliyev and Huseynov first arose when the journalist criticized the football player on Facebook for his use of an indecent gesture while partaking in an interview with foreign journalists.
Afterwards, the journalist was subjected to threats from Huseynov’s second cousin. Huseynov himself was reported to have called and “taken care of the issue” with the journalist. The deceased reported, however, that Huseynov had offered him a truce, but that when he came to a meeting between what was supposed to be the two of them, he was ferociously beaten by a group of men.
The attack took place on the 8th of August. One day later, the journalist had passed away from his injuries. Five individuals have been convicted of their involvement in the murder have been sentenced to 9 – 13 years each.