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BAKU: Mehdiyev Accuses Opposition Of Attempting To Destabilize Count

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  • BAKU: Mehdiyev Accuses Opposition Of Attempting To Destabilize Count

    Mehdiyev Accuses Opposition Of Attempting To Destabilize Country

    Baku Today
    May 29 2004

    The opposition leaders that have been boycotting court hearing in
    Azerbaijan's Serious Crimes Court aim at "gaining dividends and
    support of international community," said Ramiz Mehdiyev, head of
    presidential administration, ANS reported on Friday.

    Mehdiyev pointed out that the defendants were attempting to destabilize
    situation in the country by upcoming municipality elections planned
    for October of this year. He said the boycott would not negatively
    affect on the trial and that the process would be finished in any case.

    The defendants are refusing to show up in the court hearings in protest
    of the judge, Mansur Ibayev, whom they accuse of bowing to orders
    from the government. They have put several demands to the court, such
    as permission for filming the trial, provision of a larger courtroom
    that would enable more reporters to cover the process, etc.

    The opposition leaders are deputy heads of Musavat (Equality) party
    Ibrahim Ibrahimli, Rauf Arifoglu and Arif Hajili, head of the Umud
    (Hope) party Igbal Agazade, who is also a member of parliament, head
    of Azerbaijan People's Party Panah Huseyin, Secretary General of the
    Azerbaijan Democrat Party Sardar Jalaloglu and head of the Karabakh
    Veteran's Society Etimad Asadov.

    They are accused of organizing last October's 15-16 October
    post-election riots and also of attempting to oust the government.

    At least one protestor was crushed to death and dozens injured in
    the clashes that followed 15 October presidential election, which
    Ilham Aliyev, the son of incumbent Heydar Aliyev, won by 77 percent,
    according to official figures.

    Aliyev's main rival in the election, Isa Qambar of the Musavat party,
    came in a distant second, gaining only 14 percent of the popular
    vote. The opposition and international observers claimed the votes
    rigged with fraud.