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2023, 29 Mart, çərşənbə, Bakı vaxtı 08:38

Baku Prosecutor Asks Court To Give Yunuses 20 Year Sentence (Updated)

RFE/RL Video Roundup, July 30 - Azerbaijani civic activist Arif Yunus

The trial in the case of rights defender Leyla Yunus and her husband, historian Arif Yunus continues.

This article is being updated. The most recent news are on top.

August 6

Today, Public prosecutor, Farid Nagiyev without any substantial evidence against the Yunuses asked the court in Baku to convict the couple, sentencing Leyla Yunus to 11 years and Arif Yunus to 9 years.

During the hearing, Arif Yunus was treated by doctors as his condition remained unstable throughout the hearing.

Lawyer Afgan Mammadov said there was no concrete evidence presented by the prosecutor. "There was a bank transfer from one account to another said the prosecutor but since when making bank transfers is a crime. Prosecutor even questioned why Arif's brothers wired him money. Sure, his brothers are businessmen and they wired him money to buy a house. So what? Since when this has become a crime? Its a personal matter", said lawyer answering the questions of journalists outside the court room.

Mammadov also said prosecutor mentioned Arif Yunus having seven bank accounts. "Since when having more than one bank account is a problem. A person can have as many bank accounts as he/she wants. How having more than one bank account is fraud?"

Yet again, many journalists and supporters were left outside the court room unable to get in. Official representatives from the German and Dutch embassies were too left waiting by the door for 40 minutes.

August 4

In his testimony, journalist Rauf Mirkadirov said he has known the couple since the 90s and that they have participated together at a number of international conferences and events. Mirkadirov also added he had nothing to do with the on-going criminal case.

The next hearing is scheduled for August 5.


Mirvari Gahramanli, the head of the Committee to Protect Oil Workers' Rights is testifying at the hearing.

In addition, Rauf Mirkadirov, journalist in pretrial detention since last May is also brought to the court to tesitfy. Mirkadirov is also accused of treason.


Despite the hypertensive crisis Arif Yunus underwent yesterday August 3 during the hearing, he was brought to the court room today, to continue the trial in the case against the couple.

Yet again, journalists and representatives were not allowed to enter the court room while diplomats had to enter the room without their translators.

As it was reported from previous hearings, a group of unidentified observers were let into the court room from another door who reportedly have no connection to the case or the defendants.

Jamil Hasanli, head of the National Council said in an interview, "I, just like many others was not allowed into the court room despite it being an opean hearing. All of this looks more like an inquisition or a comedy show".


August 3

The hearing in the case of Leyla and Arif Yunus was postponed to August 4. The decision came shortly after Arif Yunus's conditioned worsened and he lost consciousness.

Yunus was treated by doctors who arrived shortly at the scene. However it was not possible to move his body outside the court room which was full of people and stuffy. Arif Yunus was treated inside the glass box.

After two and a half hours under doctors' supervision, it was decided to reschedule the hearing to August 4.

Arif Yunus suffers from hypertension and had two minor strokes prior to his arrest.