Can new charges be brought against Gubad Ibadoglu?
Baku/17.11.23/Turan: The Narimanov District Court in Azerbaijan has decided to extend the prison sentence of Gubad Ibadoglu, the chairman of the Party of Democracy and Prosperity of Azerbaijan, by an additional three months.
As reported by lawyer Zibeida Sadygova to Turan, the extension of the detention period was justified by the investigating authorities and the prosecutor on the grounds of the ongoing need for further investigation. They argued that releasing the politician at this stage could potentially influence the ongoing inquiry.
Sadygova commented on the court's decision, stating that there is a possibility of new charges being brought against Gubad Ibadoglu. However, Ibadoglu himself has consistently maintained that the charges against him are baseless.
The extension of Ibadoglu's detention has prompted a response from various international quarters. Peter Stano, the Press Secretary of the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, expressed regret over the decision of the Baku court to prolong the arrest of Gubad Ibadoglu, a prominent scientist and opposition leader, for a total of 7 months.
The Financial Times (FT), a UK-based newspaper, has also covered the arrest of Gubad Ibadoglu in a recent article.
Furthermore, a senior official from the Biden administration responsible for Europe and Eurasia, along with at least three members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, have publicly reiterated their calls for the immediate release of Gubad Ibadoglu from prison.
Ghalib Togrul, the brother of Gubad Ibadoglu, has provided insights into the course of Ibadoglu's investigation and his health in the program "Difficult Question." He highlighted concerns about the lack of medical care provided to his brother, the alleged fabrication of charges against him, and the court's refusal to accept defense petitions. Togrul suggested that these actions appear to be orchestrated from a centralized authority.
Togrul also mentioned that his brother is allowed to speak with family members on the phone for a limited time twice a week, which is the only concession granted. However, he emphasized that neither the head of the pre-trial detention center nor the Minister of Justice has the latitude to deviate from predetermined boundaries.
Regarding the possibility of new charges, Togrul clarified that neither the family nor the lawyers of Gubad Ibadoglu are aware of the specific charges that may be brought. The lawyers' concerns were based on statements made by the investigator during the trial, indicating ongoing investigative actions and the need for extending the detention period. However, Togrul noted that there is no concrete evidence to confirm the filing of new charges at this time.
In summary, the extension of Gubad Ibadoglu's prison sentence has generated international attention and calls for his release, with ongoing concerns about the fairness of the legal proceedings and his well-being in detention.