Gezal Bayramli Announced Political Nature of Criminal Case against Her
2017 December 14 ( Wednesday ) 01:48:29
Baku / 14.12.17 / Turan: On Wednesday, in Gazakh District Court under the chairmanship of Agarza Samadov, a judicial investigation began on the case of the deputy chairman of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), Gezal Bayramli.
Bayramli was detained on May 25 at the border on his return from Georgia. She was charged under Article 206.1 (contraband) of the Criminal Code. She is recognized by human rights organizations as a political prisoner.
At the beginning of the meeting, Prosecutor Vasif Salimov announced an indictment. It claims that Bayramli tried to transport 12 thousand US dollars, which she did not declare, across the border.
When the judge asked Bayramli if she accepts the accusation, she replied:
"I absolutely do not plead guilty. This arrest is unequivocally linked to my political activities, including the fact that I am the deputy chairman of the PFPA and a member of the coordinating center of the National Council of Democratic Forces. I was arrested because of my consistent criticism of the government and its corruption," Bayramli said.
She said that in recent years she often went to Georgia for medical examination and treatment, and she was operated there.
"I knew in advance that I would be arrested. Back in October 2016, I was summoned to the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and there they threatened and warned me because of my opposition activities, and said I could be arrested," Bayramli continued.
Then Bayramli said she refuses to give testimony until the witnesses are heard.
Attorney Elchin Sadigov drew attention to the fact that immediately after the detention of Bayramli the State Border Service issued a statement in which it presented his client as a person who "committed a crime," and this was a violation of her presumption of innocence. Sadigov petitioned to attach this statement to the criminal case materials. The judge granted the petition and said the statement would be studied at the document research stage.
Then witnesses were heard at the trial. Customs officials confirmed the prosecution's version.
However, Bayramli's fellow traveler, Almaz Rahimova, said they were kept at border control for about 15 minutes, allegedly because the computers were "stuck". Then they were checked one by one. Rahimova was passed, and Bayramli was detained.
According to the defense, Rahimova confirmed that Bayramli was detained by frontier guards even before she went to customs control. This refutes the version of the investigation that allegedly the customs officer suspected Bayramli and therefore ordered to check her baggage through an X-ray machine.
The trial session will be continued on December 26. -06D--