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“I am not a political prisoner, I am a prisoner of conscience” |

Elnur Shukurov says that they asked him to testify against Avaz Zeynalli

The trial of Avaz Zeynalli, the head of the Khural TV internet television, and Elnur Shukurov, the manager of the Sada TV YouTube channel, who were tried together with him, is about to end. On February 23, they gave their last words in court.

Their case is being heard in the Baku Court of Serious Crimes under the chairmanship of judge Ali Mammadov.

Aggregation of sites

Aggregation of sites

The judge announced that Avaz Zeynalli’s wife, Malahat Zeynalli, applied to the court. In his appeal, he mentioned his wife’s professional activity and asked for a fair decision about Avaz Zeynalli.

Malahat Zeynall’s appeal was added to the materials of the criminal case.

Elnur Shukurov’s lawyer Ramin Mammadov spoke at the court and asked for acquittal of his client. According to the lawyer, the accusations against Elnur Shukurov have no basis.

“One of the charges is fraud. Where is the fraud in this? The most shameful case is related to the Sumgait episode. Who could Elnur Shukurov influence by going to Sumgayit City Executive Authority and taking the order?”

The lawyer spoke about the search of Elnur Shukurov’s house around 4-5 at night.

According to the defender, they threatened his client with him that if he does not give the required statement against Avaz Zeynalli, he will be arrested:

The person they call “Chief” came and told Elnur Shukurova that either you will face Avaz Zeynalli or you will be arrested, there is no other way.

The lawyer says that he considers such behavior towards his client to be disrespectful to himself.

Later, the accused persons gave their last words.

Elnur Shukurov said that he was caught suddenly in Narimanov Park. The first question he was asked while being detained was: “Where is the document that Avaz Zeynalli will return?”

According to him, 12 people went to search his house around 4 o’clock at night. Elnur Shukurov says that prosecutors broke into his house that night:

“It cannot be called “reviewing”. This is a home invasion. They did not take into account that my sick mother, my wife suffering from epilepsy, and young children are at home. I told them that at least 2 people, not 12 people, enter the room where the children sleep, so that they will not be afraid. He did not have such decency. They searched through the child’s diary. They woke up one of the children at 4 o’clock at night and searched his bed. Is it called a “view”? Do they also break into the officials’ houses? They traumatized my children. As a result, the court knows where one of the children is now.”.

Elnur Shukurov says that after coming to the prosecutor’s office, he was openly asked to testify against Avaz Zeynalli. He did not agree:

“They told me that it’s okay, if you don’t agree, then you’ll see your day. They did what they said. They destroy a family with an eye for an eye. Imagine, in the decision on pretrial detention, it is written that I should be kept in the Baku Pretrial Detention Center. But they transferred me to DTX. I stayed in solitary confinement for 15 days. I stayed there for a total of 140 days. I have no complaints about 139 of this. One day they took me under the name of meeting with a lawyer, they made me meet with the person who came from the name of Karam Hasanov. Who was he, who sent him? For 140 days, they did not allow me to meet my family and my young children. However, they do not treat those who looted the country and those who betrayed the state in this way..

Elnur Shukurov said that he did not ask or receive money from anyone. According to him, he solved the problem of obtaining permission from the executive power of certain people in order to help them:

“Now Aziz Azizov, the executive head of Surakhani, comes here and says that I allegedly overshadowed his activities with materials about him. I did not provide any material about his activities in Surakhani. However, I rightly criticized his activities in Jalilabad. There was no other head of the executive who oppressed the people of Jalilabad as much as Aziz Azizov. The border villages of the region were emptied because of him. He laid the foundation of vilification in the region. This man took revenge from Jalilabad during his 12-year tenure as executive head. Adil Valiyev, executive head of Sabunchu, came here and said that “I don’t count journalists”. But we were accused that we allegedly influenced the decisions of the executive heads”.

At the end of his speech, Elnur Shukurov asked the court for an acquittal.

Afterwards, Avaz Zeynalli spoke. He said that there are numerous illegalities in the 11-volume criminal case: “A person can be arrested and punished. But not like that…”.

According to the head of Khural TV, Ruslan Valiyev, who is known as a victim, said in court that he does not consider himself a victim, but his status is not terminated:

“He was threatened with his father and taken to testify”.

Avaz Zeynalli said that illegalities were committed during the search of his house, including the compensation given to him by the decision of the European Court, and even the “Birbank” card was taken.

“My friend met with Gasim Mammadov (Deputy Head of the Investigation Department of the General Prosecutor’s Office) and said that at least return the Birbank card, it is necessary for the sake of the family and children’s education. After that, on the contrary, they took it and got a decision from the court and blocked that card. They did not take into account that there is a sick mother at home. My father-in-law, who was bedridden, was also under my care.”.

Avaz Zeynalli emphasized that he was presented as an official in the criminal case. However, he was unemployed for a long time.

“Khural TV” head Elnur Shukurov also thanked:

“Elnur is the first person who did not stand up to me. I want to thank him in front of everyone. I am not a political prisoner, I am a prisoner of conscience. This criminal case is also a case of words…”.

At this place, Avaz Zeynalli’s speech was interrupted. He will continue his speech on February 26. Then the verdict will be announced.

Avaz Zeynalli was arrested on September 9, 2022. Although the first charge against him was related to receiving 20,000 manats from the wife of Rasim Mammadov, the former head of the steelmaking plant “Baku Steel Company” LLC, who is currently in prison, new charges were brought later.

However, he pleads not guilty, saying that he was arrested on a political order to silence him.

Elnur Shukurov has been in prison since September 13, 2022. He also says that he is innocent and that he was punished for not testifying against Avaz Zeynalli.

The prosecutor requested that Avaz Zeynalli be imprisoned for 10 years and Elnur Shukurov for 5 years.

“24 saat”

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