Сourt leaves Hafiz Babaly in custody

Сourt leaves Hafiz Babaly in custody

On April 2, the Khatai district court of Baku, chaired by judge Sulkhana Hajiyeva, considered a petition for the transfer of journalist Hafiz Babaly to house arrest. His lawyer Rasul Jafarov justified the petition by saying that there are no material and procedural grounds for Babaly's detention.

The investigation motivates Babaly's detention with subjective assumptions that he can "hide" and "influence the course of the investigation." However, Babaly was banned from leaving the country even before the criminal case. On the other hand, Babaly has a permanent place of residence and house arrest is supervised by probation officials.

At the same time, Babaly himself challenged judge Hajiyeva. The journalist stated that she was biased against him, because she had previously made decisions on his detention and rejected previous petitions. However, the judge did not see "sufficient grounds" for the challenge, leaving it unaddressed.

The judge also dismissed the request for transfer to house arrest, following which an appeal will be filed, lawyer Jafarov noted.

* Editor of the economic news department of Turan Agency Hafiz Babaly was detained on December 13. He was charged with "smuggling foreign currency." By a court decision, he was subjected to pre-trial detention for a period of three months. Babaly was involved in the "Abzas Media case". Human rights activists recognized Babaly as a political prisoner.

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