Nizami District Court has sentenced opposition member Tofig Yagublu to a three-month prison sentence, his lawyer Elchin Sadigov told journalists after his court hearing on Monday.
“Tofig Yagublu does not believe he guilty. For sure, we will appeal the decision. We consider the decision completely groundless and illegal,” Sadigov said.
After the trial, Yagublu, who has been accused of hooliganism, was sent to a detention center. Yagublu is known as one of the harshest critics of President Ilham Aliyev and his ruling party.
Yagublu’s daughter Nigar Hazi said that many countries have started to release prisoners due to the risk of coronovirus pandemic. On the contrary, President Ilham Aliyev is filling them up.
Hazi said she is concerned that his incarceration will have a devastating effect on her father’s health.
It has been impossible to get an official reaction regarding her concerns.
Interior Ministry spokesperson Ehsan Zahidov said that Yagublu was detained due to a traffic accident he caused in Baku’s Nizami district a day before.
“While the traffic accident happened due to Tofig Yagublu’s fault, he argued without a valid reason and hit [driver] Elkhan Jabrayilov and his passenger and wife Javahir Jabrayilova with a screwdriver, causing them various injuries,” Zahidov was quoted as saying.
After police arrived at the scene, Yagublu was detained and brought to the Nizami district police station, where a criminal case was launched.
Yagublu’s arrest comes days after President Ilham Aliyev said opposition members were spreading panic about coronavirus in the country and he would therefore declare a state of emergency and isolate opposition, who he labeled as “enemies” of the Azerbaijani people.