Witnesses were heard at the trial of Bakhtiyar Hajiyev

Witnesses were heard at the trial of Bakhtiyar Hajiyev

The trial  in the case of public activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev continued in the Baku Serious Crimes Court on Friday.  Two witnesses were heard. One of them, a lecturer at the Azerbaijan University of Economics, said that she taught language courses opened by Hajiyev and worked on a 50-50 basis (the fee was divided equally between the course administration and the teacher). The witness's salary was 200 manats per month and she received money from the manager's office, she had no financial contacts with Hajiyev.

Another witness, Shalala Alikhanova, said that she was familiar with Hajiyev, but did not participate in his projects. Sometimes she uploaded videos to social networks from Hajiyev’s events, but she did it for free. Alikhanov's testimony to the investigation was announced at the trial that she uploaded videos for 100-120 manats. However, the witness said that her testimony in the case file was distorted.

Bakhtiar Hajiyev himself made three petitions: to terminate the criminal proceedings, in case this petition is not satisfied, transfer him to house arrest and increase the frequency of court sessions.

The judge rejected the first two petitions, and regarding the third, he said that so far he has a busy work schedule, and as soon as he unloads, trials can be held more often than once a week.

The victim Ulviya Muradova did not appear at the trial once again. In this regard, the court decided to ensure her compulsory drive.  Two other witnesses also did not appear. It was announced that the court appealed to the Penitentiary Service and the pre-trial detention center in connection with Hajiyev's request to provide him with an examination in a private clinic.

The next court hearing is scheduled for June 21.

*Hajiyev was detained on December 9, 2022 in a case initiated on the basis of a complaint by journalist Ulviya Alovlu. At first, he was charged under Articles 221 ("hooliganism") and 289 ("contempt of court") of the Criminal Code.

In July 2023, he was charged under Articles 192 ("illegal entrepreneurship"), 193-1 ("legalization of proceeds from crime"), and 206 (smuggling) of the Criminal Code.

On November 7, 2023, an accusation appeared under Article 213.1 of the Criminal Code (tax evasion, unemployment insurance payments, compulsory medical and social insurance).

Hajiyev denies all charges and says he is being persecuted for criticizing the authorities and calling for international sanctions against Azerbaijani officials and security forces involved in the repression.  Human rights activists recognized him as a political prisoner.

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