Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 18
Azerbaijani embassy in Germany has spread an appeal condemning the attempts of some circles of Germany to politicize the verdict of the court against Leyla and Arif Yunusovs, said the message of the embassy August 18.
A crime committed in a state of law, must be punished accordingly, according to the appeal.
"As in any democratic country, the status of human rights defender, or any other one does not exempt a citizen from responsibility before the law of Azerbaijan," said the message. "A sentence of imprisonment of Leyla and Arif Yunusovs has been passed by the trial court openly and in accordance with the law of the country, the trial was freely observed by foreign diplomats and representatives of international organizations. Despite this, some circles in Germany having no respect towards the decision of the independent court, tried to unduly politicize it."
The document also said that after gaining independence, building a democratic state of law has successfully been carried out in Azerbaijan, and exerting pressure on the work of the country's independent judicial bodies by political statements is unacceptable.
Leyla Yunusova was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison with confiscation of property, and Arif Yunusov was sentenced to seven years in prison with confiscation of property Aug. 13 according to the decision of the Baku Court of Grave Crimes.
The court sentence said that both individuals' bank accounts are confiscated, all their property in Azerbaijan, Turkey, and the Czech Republic are confiscated as well, and they aren't allowed to hold any office for two years after the end of their term of imprisonment.
Leyla and Arif Yunusovs will serve their sentences in a general-regime correctional labor facility.
Leyla Yunusova was charged under the articles 274 (high treason), 178.3.2 (fraud (by inflicting major damage)), 192.2.2 (illegal entrepreneurship), 213.2.2 (evasion from a large amount of taxes), 320.1 (forging a certificate or another official document providing rights or exempting from duties, in order to use or sell that document, as well as making for the same purposes or selling forged state awards of Azerbaijan Republic, stamps, seals, forms) and 320.2 (use of deliberately forged documents indicated in the article 320.1 of this Code) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.
Arif Yunusov was charged under the articles 274 (high treason) and 178.3.2 (fraud) of Azerbaijan's Criminal Code.
A separate lawsuit was filed for both individuals on the criminal case under article 274 (high treason).
The court's decision taken August 13 applies only to criminal proceedings on the fraud, tax evasion, and others cases.
Edited by CN