MP Bahruz Maharramov (neutral deputy) told Toplum TV that the arrest of social activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev was not politically motivated.
"There can be no talk of a political decision in the arrest of Bakhtiyar Hajiyev," he stressed.
Fakt Yoxla examined whether this claim was true.
On December 9, during the court proceedings presided over by the judge of the Khatai District Court of Baku, Fuad Akhundov, social activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev was sentenced to 1 month and 20 days in custody.
The activist is charged with Articles 221.1 (hooliganism) and 289.1 (disrespecting the court by insulting the participants of the trial) of the Criminal Code (CrC).
The criminal case against Bakhtiyar Hajiyev was opened after a scandalous incident between him and journalist Ulviyya Alovlu.
Shahla Humbatova, Hajiyev's advocate, told Fakt Yoxla that the conflict between Ulviyya Alovlu and Bakhtiyar Hajiyev started and developed over Facebook. They mutually accused each other on the said social network.
Bakhtiyar Hajiyev complained to the police a long time ago and demanded that Ulviyya Alovlu be brought to criminal responsibility. Some time ago, a video of what happened during the trial between Hajiyev and Alovlu in the Yasamal District Court was circulated on social networks.
It can be seen from the video that Bakhtiyar Hajiyev throws the documents in his hand on the table.
The social activist's advocate said that although it was not published on social networks, in the first part of the video, Ulviyya Alovlu threw a glass of water at Bakhtiyar Hajiyev. After that, Hajiyev threw the documents in his hand on the table.
An investigation was underway at the Baku City Main Police Department regarding this matter. Hajiyev repeatedly complained that the police did not investigate the matter objectively, and even tried to hold a protest in front of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The ministry said that the claims of the activist are groundless.
However, some time ago, a criminal case was opened against Bakhtiyar Hajiyev himself over this issue. So, he was accused of hooliganism, hitting Ulviyya Alovlu in the corridor after the trial, and contempt of court.
This was a brief summary of what happened in connection with the arrest of Bakhtiyar Hajiyev. Let's come to the MP's claim about the social activist. When looking at the legislation, it becomes clear that the court may not choose preventive measures against Bakhtiyar Hajiyev.
Because the acts he is accused of are crimes that do not pose a great public threat. According to Article 15.1 of the CrC, the acts (actions or inactions) provided for by this Code are divided into crimes that do not cause great public danger, less serious, serious and especially serious crimes, depending on their nature and degree of public danger.
Intentional or negligent actions punishable by this Code, which are not related to deprivation of liberty or intentional or negligent actions for which the upper limit of imprisonment provided by this Code does not exceed two years are considered crimes that do not pose a great public threat.
Sanctions of Articles 221.1 and 289.1 of the CrC, which Hajiyev is accused of, are a fine in the amount of one thousand to three thousand manats, or correctional work for a term of up to one year, or restriction of liberty for a term of up to one year, or deprivation of liberty for a term of up to one year, and a fine in the amount of five hundred to one thousand manats, or public works for a term of three hundred and twenty to four hundred hours, respectively, or deprivation of liberty for a term of up to six months.
Criminal procedural legislation prohibits the selection of pretrial detention measures against a person accused of crimes that do not pose a great public threat. Only according to Article 155.3.2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CCrP), a person accused of committing a crime punishable by a term of up to 2 (two) years of imprisonment may be arrested in order to prevent his concealment from the body conducting the criminal process.
Since the probability of Bakhtiyar Hajiyev hiding from the body carrying out the criminal process is zero, this exception of the legislation cannot be applied to him. Last, he visited Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, and returned on December 7.
Furthermore, the Decision No. 2 of the Plenum of the Supreme Court dated November 3, 2009, on the Judicial Practice of Considering Appeals for Preventive Measures of Detention and House Arrest, states that when choosing a pretrial detention measure, the courts should not be satisfied with only formally listing the procedural grounds specified in Article 155 of the CCrP, they should check what the existence of each ground is in relation to a specific accused person and whether they are confirmed by the materials of the criminal case.
Strict compliance with the provisions of the criminal-procedural legislation on the grounds for the application of detention by preliminary investigation bodies and courts when choosing preventive measures and the expansion of the application of alternative punishment and procedural coercive measures in order to achieve the goals of punishment and preventive measures without isolating the individual from society are reflected in Paragraph 8 of the Order of the President dated February 10, 2017, on Improving Activities in the Penitentiary Field, Humanizing Penal Policy, and Expanding the Application of Alternative Punishment and Procedural Coercive Measures not Related to Social Isolation.
As can be seen, the arrest of B. Hajiyev in the pre-trial proceedings was carried out in violation of the requirements of the criminal procedural legislation, the Plenum decision of the Supreme Court, and the order signed by the President.
Thus, criminal procedural legislation as a rule prohibits the selection of pretrial detention measures for persons accused of crimes that do not cause great public danger.
Only in the conditions where there is a possibility of the person hiding from the body carrying out the criminal proceedings and there is reliable evidence confirming this, a pre-trial detention measure can be chosen for the person. But the fact that Hajiyev traveled to Europe and returned shortly before the court's decision reduces the possibility of him evading the investigation. Despite this, a pre-trial detention measure has been chosen for Bakhtiyar Hajiyev by court decision.
Fakt Yoxla concludes based on the above that the MP's claim is False.