The situation around the non-execution of the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling on the case of REAL leader Ilgar Mammadov has led to a crisis in relations between Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe for the first time launched the procedure stipulated in Article 46.4 of the European Convention, on which sanctions against Baku can be imposed because of failure to implement the decisions of the ECHR.
Official Baku pretended for a long time that it did not recognize this decision of the European Court, but in recent days the situation has clearly changed.
So, yesterday the presidential aide on foreign policy Novruz Mammadov announced the possibility of solving this problem, hinting at the release of Ilgar Mammadov in connection with serving two-thirds of the term of punishment. He also added that the authorities are ready for constructive negotiations and the search for ways to resolve this issue.
However, the defense of Ilgar Mammadov stated that he did not intend to apply for early release.
Lawyer Alesker Mammadli, commenting on the probability of solving the problem for Turan News Agency, pointed to several options.
In addition to releasing on parole, pardon may be announced. However, Ilgar Mammadov has repeatedly stated that he will not write a petition for pardon. But the law does not exclude pardon even without the request of the convict.
Another option is the appeal of the Prosecutor General’s Office to the Supreme Court.
Since December 1, the innovations in the legislation have come into effect, according to which convicts for serious crimes and those who have served most of the term can be released on parole.
The Supreme Court can release Mammadov on parole or by shortening the sentence term, Mammadli said.
A similar case took place with the release of the human rights activist Intigam Aliyev.
Finally, the Supreme Court may, in pursuance of the ECHR decision, release Mammadov on justifiable grounds. However, such a scenario looks unrealistic.
Human rights activist Rasul Jafarov also believes that there are a number of mechanisms for release. In addition to the above, this is the appeal of the prison leadership or pardon.
With all options (except for rehabilitation), Mammadov will not be able to run for presidency in the 2018 elections. However, theoretically this is possible if he separately appeals to the court to remove his criminal record, which under the current political realities is impossible.