Lawyer: “If there is a decision on rejection, in this case, an appeal will be filed in court to annul it”
More than a month has passed since Tofig Yagublu, a member of the Coordination Center of the National Council and the Musavat Party, filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office alleging he had been tortured.
Tofig Yagublu was detained by police in Fountain Square on 1 December during a protest rally in Baku demanding the release of Saleh Rustamli, who was on hunger strike. At around 7 pm, he was found in Alat settlement, Garadagh district. He had visible marks on his face, especially around his eyes, on his head, and on various parts of his body. Yagublu said that the police tortured him into this situation, and then left him there.
There were no reports that a criminal case was opened, or that the police were punished, and with a month having past since the complaint was filed, the Prosecutor’s office is now late according to Azerbaijan’s criminal code.
Yagublu’s lawyer, Nemat Karimli, told Meydan TV that the legislation provides for a period of one month for such cases. Article 207 of the Code of Criminal Procedure stipulates that if an expert opinion is required, a preliminary investigation must be conducted within a maximum of 30 days to determine whether there are sufficient grounds for instituting criminal proceedings. Depending on the outcome of the inspection, a decision must be made to initiate criminal proceedings or to refuse to initiate criminal proceedings.
The lawyer of the political activist filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office on 2 December. On 3 December, he and his lawyer were interrogated at the Sabail District Prosecutor’s Office and the scene was inspected.
Image: From Nemat Karimli’s personal archive
Nemat Karimli stressed that due to the expiration of the one-month period, the prosecutor’s office must submit to them one of two decisions: either a decision to initiate criminal proceedings or a decision to refuse to initiate criminal proceedings. The lawyer added that if there is a decision on rejection, in this case, Yagublu can file a lawsuit to annul the decision.
Tofig Yagublu told Meydan TV that he did not expect the prosecutor’s office to make a fair decision and punish the police officers who beat him:
It’s not worth expecting objectivity from people who commit all kinds of crimes and illegalities to protect a corrupt, illegitimate government.Tofig Yagublu
“It is clear that the police are not being punished and my complaint will be rejected. There must be a will to conduct an objective investigation and make a fair decision. This is not the work of cowards and poor people”, Yagublu said. “It is clear that this was done on the basis of special instructions. It is not worth expecting objectivity and justice from people who commit all kinds of crimes and illegalities to protect a corrupt, illegitimate government.”
Tofig Yagublu added that if a decision is made to refuse to initiate a criminal case, he will first appeal to local courts, and if there is no positive result, to the European Court.
The press service of the Prosecutor General’s Office could not be reached for comment.
The Interior Ministry has denied allegations that Tofig Yagublu was tortured by police. The head of the ministry’s press service, Elshad Hajiyev, said after the incident that the allegations that the political activist was beaten at the police station and subjected to special pressure were unfounded.