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European Court’s judge: Azerbaijani law enforcement bodies should not violate principle of presumption of innocence

Society Materials 14 August 2012 18:52
Many judges in Azerbaijan often prefer to arrest the accused, as if fearing to take another, more appropriate decision, a judge of the European Court of Human Rights Khanlar Hajiyev told Trend.
European Court’s judge: Azerbaijani law enforcement bodies should not violate principle of presumption of innocence

Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug. 14 / Trend K.Zarbaliyeva /

Many judges in Azerbaijan often prefer to arrest the accused, as if fearing to take another, more appropriate decision, a judge of the European Court of Human Rights Khanlar Hajiyev told Trend.

"The problem is that in most cases our courts do not conduct serious investigations. When making a decision about the arrest the responsibility falls directly on the court. There is no heavier action than deprivation of liberty, so it requires good reason. Court must examine the arguments and interrogate the accused itself. A judge must make the decision to arrest based on the evidence and the statements of the defendant based on his experience and logic," Hajiyev said.

He said that if at the plenum of the Supreme Court this issue is discussed and a decision is made, it means that there are serious problems in this area. And the judges should give serious consideration to this.

He said the European Court finds that advancing the same arguments, the person can not be kept for a long time in custody until a court decision. Unfortunately, the judges make a decision about the arrest almost automatically.

The European Court has found similar violations in a number of cases related to Azerbaijan, Hajiyev noted. He said a shift has taken place recently in this direction.

Hajiyev also touched on situations when law enforcement officials, speaking to the media on various crimes, often violate the principle of presumption of innocence.

"Law enforcement officials should pay attention to the fact that their statements would not violate the presumption of innocence of the person. For until the Court proved guilt of a person, he or she can not be called or considered a criminal. A preliminary, before trial, formation in the society of the idea that man is criminal, can influence the decision of the court," Hajiyev said.

The European Court found several similar violations in the cases that came from Azerbaijan, he noted.

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