Illustration by BBC

Illustration by BBC

After the investigation was updated in December 2021, the investigation into the case of persons brought to criminal responsibility (accused of torture) in the "Terter case" was completed and sent to court. In early February, the investigation into the case of four people completed, the materials were sent to the Baku Military Court. These are Colonels Vusal Aleskerov, Rashid Niftaliev, Rustam Aleskerov, and Ramil Garayev. On February 21, it became known that the investigation against Major General Bekir Orujev, who was brought to justice for torture in the "Terter case", has been completed. The case of Bekir Orujev, who held the position of head of the Department of Ideological Work and Moral and Psychological Support of the Main Directorate of Personnel of the Ministry of Defense, will be considered in the Baku Military Court.

After the renewal of the proceedings in the "Terter case", the investigation continues against other persons brought to criminal responsibility for torture.

It should be noted that after the resumption of the investigation in the "Terter case" in December 2021, the number of those brought to criminal responsibility for torture reached 17 people. In relation to 12 of them, a preventive measure of arrest was chosen. One person is wanted. Four more were detained before the trial was updated. Just after the trial was updated, they were charged with a new charge also due to the fact that information appeared about their participation in the torture of others.

Is the number of those responsible for the "Terter case" only 17 people?

Nasir Aliyev, Deputy Chairman of the Center for investigations against torture, answers questions from ASTNA on this topic.

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Question: After updating the investigation into the "Terter case" in December 2021, the investigation into the case of four people brought to criminal responsibility completed in early February, the materials were sent to the Baku Military Court. In addition, the investigation against Major General Bekir Orujev, who was brought to justice for torture in the "Terter case", has completed. What do you think, was the investigation conducted objectively against these individuals? And can we expect an objective court decision?

Answer: As you know, the preliminary investigation into the case of Colonel Vusal Aleskerov, Lieutenant Colonel Rashid Niftaliev, Ramil Garayev and Rustam Aleskerov in the framework of the "Terter case" was completed on February 10, 2023. The materials of this case collected by the new investigation team, in which 192 servicemen were recognized as victims, have been sent to the Baku Military Court for consideration.

The preliminary investigation into the case of Bekir Oruov has completed and sent for consideration to the Baku Military Court. Let me remind you that Bekir Orujev served in a military unit located in Beylagan during the events.

It is not yet possible to judge whether the investigation in this case was conducted objectively. Because I am not familiar with the materials of this investigation. And I do not believe unequivocally in the objectivity of the courts. Because I witnessed the unfair decisions of the Baku Military Court.

Question: What sentences should be imposed on these people?

Answer: I hope that people involved in this crime will be sentenced to long prison terms. Having exceeded their official powers against the Azerbaijani Army, they allowed inhuman treatment, humiliation of honor and dignity and unthinkable torture. As a result of these tortures, 10 of our servicemen died. According to the data published a few months before the investigation, 405 servicemen were recognized as victims. I have no doubt that the number of victims will increase in recent months. I hope that the investigation materials contain objective data about their role in these murders.

Question: After the resumption of the investigation into the "Terter case" in December 2021, the number of people brought to criminal responsibility for the use of torture reached 17 people. In relation to 12 of them, a preventive measure was chosen arrest. One person is wanted. Four more were in custody before the trial was updated. Simply, after the resumption of the proceedings, they were charged due to the information about their participation in the use of torture against other persons. Do you think there are only 17 people responsible for the use of torture?

Answer: After the investigation was updated, 17 persons were charged. Of course, this is not the whole circle of persons who committed this crime. Because, judging by the testimony given by the victims on the air, many senior and senior officers of the Ministry of Defense who were at the place of torture, judges who illegally authorized the arrest of servicemen, investigators of the Military Prosecutor's Office who conducted this case, persons who carried out procedural guidance, doctors who gave false testimony, judges who issued false court sentences, and those who ordered the use of torture have not yet been brought to criminal responsibility.

Question: Why do you think other persons whose names appear in connection with this crime, high-ranking officials, are not involved in the investigation?

Answer: As you know, the names of many high-ranking officers appear in connection with this criminal case. But, despite this, they have not been arrested yet. I believe that the main reason for this is that they have not been removed from their posts. While they are in office, they have the ability to exert pressure.

Question: Do you hope that the investigation into this case will be conducted objectively and that all the persons who have so far been mentioned in the commission of this crime will be punished?

Answer: To be honest, I have no confidence that all the persons whose names appear in these crimes will be punished. Despite more than a year and 2 months have passed since the beginning of the new investigation, the preventive measure of arrest was chosen only in relation to 17 people. And in relation to high-ranking officials, whose names are most often inclined, no measures have been taken yet.

Question: What steps should be taken so that the "Terter case" is fully disclosed and all persons involved in it are punished?

Answer: For the full objective disclosure of the "Terter case" and the punishment of all persons involved in the commission of a crime, first of all there must be political will and public support must be provided to it.

By the way, on December 6, 2022, 19 servicemen were acquitted and released. However, these military have not received any support from the state over the past 2 months. Their health problems have not been solved yet, they have problems with employment, as well as with documents.

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Сможет ли Москва сорвать уход Еревана под крыло Запада? - беседа с экспертом по Центральной Азии Аркадиtv Дубновым в программе "Çətin sual"




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