Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 4
By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:
A regular court hearing on the criminal case against Leyla Yunusova and her husband Arif Yunusov took place Aug.4, chaired by judge Afgan Hajiyev.
Initially, the court heard the testimony of reporter Anna Dagidashvili.
The witness said that during a conference in Tbilisi, a reporter from Armenia called Laura approached her and offered to work with Leyla Yunusova as a journalist.
"She said she could give me contact numbers of Leyla Yunusova," said the witness. "After returning to Azerbaijan, Yunusova called me and offered to cooperate. My job was to arrange interviews. For this, Yunusova was paying me 100-120 manats a month. Sometimes, due to the fact that she was abroad, the payments were late. I did not have TIN. I received a salary by signing a check, which Yunusova was giving me. One day she shouted at me and said that she was dissatisfied with my work. Then, our cooperation ended."
Then the testimony of reporter Akbar Hasanov was heard.
Hasanov said that he, as a reporter, knows Arif Yunusov and Leyla Yunusova. He went on to add that in 2006, Arif Yunusov offered him to go to Armenia.
"Since I write about Karabakh, I was interested in the situation in Armenia," Hasanov said. "So I accepted the offer of Yunusov and went with him to Armenia. While in Armenia, I have witnessed close contact of Arif Yunusov with the former Minister of National Security of Armenia David Shahnazaryan."
He also said that in 2007, Yunusov again invited him to go to Armenia.
Hasanov again accepted this offer.
The reporter said that during a trip, Yunusov gave money in cash to the participants.
The witness testified that the purpose of their visit to Armenia was only acquaintance with the situation in this country, but he knew nothing about the purpose of Yunusov's trip.
He also said that while in Armenia, Yunusov made no secret of his cooperation with the Armenians.
Then the court heard testimony of Rauf Mirkadirov. The witness said that he knew Leyla Yunusova since the creation of the Popular Front Party.
He said that Yunusova worked with him since the beginning of activities in the field of human rights in 1993.
Mirkadirov also said that by participating in the projects implemented by the company of Yunusova, he received several grants.
The witness said that he, together with Arif Yunusov, participated in various conferences.
"Arif Yunusov asked me to participate in a conference in Armenia, and I agreed," he said.
Addressing the court, the chairman of Management Board of Unibank Faig Huseynov said that he confirms the testimony he gave at the preliminary investigation.
In turn, a member of AccessBank Anar Hasanov also said that he confirms the testimony he gave at the preliminary investigation. He said that Arif Yunusov prematurely took money from the deposit and made a transfer to the other person.
Human rights activist Mirvari Gahramanli also confirmed the testimony she gave during the preliminary investigation.
Salim Kriman, who was a chairman of Bank Standart in 2005-2007, was unable to speak at the hearing, because he is in Russia. However, he sent an appeal to the court in connection with the fact that he confirms the testimony given at the preliminary investigation.
During the preliminary investigation, Kriman said that during his leadership of the bank, Yunusov's bank account received funds from a variety of countries, including Armenia.
The head of the Women's Crisis Center Matanat Azizova couldn't come to the trial either, because she is in the Czech Republic. However, she sent an appeal to the court in connection with the fact that she confirms the testimony given during the preliminary investigation.
The trial will continue August 5.
Leyla Yunusova is charged under the articles 274 (high treason), 178.3.2 (fraud (by causing major damage)), 192.2.2 (illegal entrepreneurship), 213.2.2 (tax evasion in a large amount), 320.1 (falsification of the certificate or other official document providing rights or exempting from duties in order to use or sell this document, as well as for the same purposes to work out or sell forged state awards of Azerbaijan Republic, stamps, seals, forms) and 320.2 (use of deliberately forged documents indicated in the Article 320.1 of the present Code) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.
Arif Yunusov is charged under the articles 274 (high treason) and 178.3.2 (fraud) of Azerbaijan's Criminal Code.
Edited by CN