February 19, 2021

The information to date is that only two people who fought in the Great Patriotic War – Ziya Kazimov and Aydin Agazadeh were brought to criminal responsibility. After the war, Aghazade was sentenced to imprisonment in a case that had been instituted even before the war; currently, the Prosecutor General’s Office has filed a protest to reduce the sentence. With regard to Ziya Kazimov, on November 9, 2020, the Baku military court chosen a measure of restraint in the form of detention.

 

Information about the arrest of this person and about the appeals of his relatives has been spread on social networks. An interesting fact is that Kazimov Ziya was detained in connection with the “Terter case”; the investigation accuses him of physical violence and the murder of Lieutenant Sabirli Adil Teyran oglu on May 5, 2017, who is suspected of cooperation with the secret services of Armenia. However, Ziya Kazimov and his defenders unequivocally reject this accusation, and the peculiarities of the case today indicate that there are many dubious points in the accusation.

 

First, the preventive measure is not strictly justified; the decision does not meet the criteria of reasonable suspicion necessary for choosing such a measure. Secondly, a court verdict against Lieutenant Adil Sabirli has entered into legal force, and Ziya Kazimov is being held in this case as a witness. Thirdly, after May 5, 2017, Ziya Kazimov got the rank of commander of a military unit, awarded, took an active part in the Patriotic War, but during all this time no charges were brought against him. From the decision of the Military Prosecutor’s Office, which is investigating the case, it is not clear why the charge was brought immediately after the war. Therefore, we believe that this issue requires serious study, since there are unspecified, unanswered points, and this investigation should be continued, if a softer measure of restraint is adopted against Ziya Kazimov.

 

 

 

– The 44-day war distracted us from tracking many processes, including the Tartar case. Let us take a quick tour of these events. How did the Tartar case come about?

 

– There are numerous fundamental contradictions and violations in the criminal case, conditionally called the “Terter case”, in which a group of military men was arrested and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment in May 2017. In order to come to this opinion, the methodological techniques of human rights organizations were used.

 

For a long time, official documents (indictments, sentences and court decisions, expert opinions, etc.) were studied and analyzed. The study is based on the results, assessment of the testimony and information of the relatives of the killed and arrested persons, including news and visual materials disseminated in the press and social networks, the study of complaints filed with higher courts, and the receipt of legal opinions. We continue to refine statistical data, as there are a lot of materials and reports on the case. However, today we can say for sure that at least 25 military men were arrested and imprisoned on charges of high treason. Of these, 11 people were convicted in one group, 7 people in another group, 4 people in the third group and 3 people individually.

 

-What were these persons accused of? What were the violations in this process?

 

-The first information from the Joint Statement of the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Security Service on May 7, 2017 was that among the persons involved in confidential cooperation were not only military personnel, but also civilians. It follows from the indictments and court sentences received in the case that not a single civilian was ultimately prosecuted on charges of treason. All those arrested and sentenced to imprisonment were servicemen – soldiers, sergeants and officers.

 

The following quote from the Joint Statement: “As a result of the urgent investigative and operational measures, sabotage and terrorist activities, which were planned to be carried out by the intelligence and special services of the enemy in public places in Baku …”

 

The joint statement states that terror and provocations will be committed not only in the front-line territories, but also in the capital of our country, the city of Baku, which should have been reflected in the accusations against the arrested persons. What do we see in indictments and sentences? None of the accused and subsequently convicted was charged with committing any terrorist or provocative act in Baku, its preparation, assistance and planning.

 

Another quote from the Joint Statement: “A group of servicemen and other civilians involved in secret cooperation with enemy intelligence officers to the detriment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, state security and defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan, at different times, for the sake of their material interests, transmitted information constituting a military secret to the enemy “.

 

From official documents, it follows that the military prosecutor’s office, acting as an investigative body for most of the episodes, indicated as the basis not monetary or other payments for engaging military personnel in secret cooperation, but the blackmail of these servicemen by disseminating video images of an act of violence to which the military was subjected by the enemy. Despite the fact that on several episodes there were reports about the payment of money by the enemy for secret activities, it was also emphasized here that initially these servicemen were attracted to cooperation by blackmail. As you can see, criminal cases are being built on this very foundation, although there is no mention of blackmail in the joint statement.

 

– May it be that someone is interested in these events? That is, what goals can be behind the scenes, behind the invisible side of such events?

 

The motive for this event is difficult to establish, in fact, the investigating authority had to substantiate this. In theory, yes, there may be parties interested in these events. The goal may be to hide the true criminals or simply strike at the Azerbaijan Army, or rather, strike at the morale, punishing the active and distinguished servicemen, or the goal may be completely different. However, all this remains a speculative and conspiracy theory. In order to understand the real reason, it is necessary to conduct an investigation; I believe that the special services should play an active role in this.

 

 

 

-There are two sides to the question. State security and at the same time innocent people. How to make sure that for the sake of state security, the perpetrators are punished, and the innocent are not punished. That is, how to ensure that such processes are carried out fairly?

 

-First of all, I want to note that the arrest and imprisonment of innocent people is a threat to state security, especially when it happens not on rare occasions, but on numerous. To avoid or at least minimize these cases, it is necessary to carry out reforms related to the independence of the investigation and the court. A single investigative body could be created, which would be composed of more professional persons, serious measures could be taken against investigators and judges who made shortcomings, cases could be re-examined, etc. It is very important to take these steps so that the investigation and subsequent trial passed more fairly.

 

 

 

The Terter case. In May 2017, the General Prosecutor’s Office, the State Security Service, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan issued a joint statement in which they announced the detention of military personnel on charges of espionage for the Armenian secret services.

 

Later, in 2019, the details of the cases, in particular the mass torture carried out in May and June 2017 against the military personnel who formally and informally became suspects on espionage charges, began to be gradually revealed to the general public. According to human rights activist Oktay Gyulalyev, in the first months of the mass arrests, neither the public nor human rights activists knew anything about what was happening.

 

According to Azerbaijani human rights activists, more than 100 soldiers and officers of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan were tortured, 25 received long prison terms and at least nine died from torture. In particular, retired colonel-lieutenant Saleh Gafarov “had his hands and feet tied, drowned in water, shocked, tore out his nails, broke his jaw and threw the tied man from the second floor, his wife recalls what she heard in court. After that, they continued to torture him until he fell into a coma. ” According to the former company commander with the rank of captain Vagif Abdullayev, he was “starved, stripped naked and poured with cold water, beaten with fittings, tortured with electric shocks,” and then dismissed from the army.

 

According to human rights activist Oktay Gyulalyev, nine servicemen died, unable to withstand the torture, while no criminal proceedings were instituted against five of them. According to media reports, at least 25 servicemen are currently in prison, serving sentences on charges of high treason, assaults on senior officers and many other related articles.

 

Source: Turan News Agency

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