Preservation of evidence - national proceedings

The Republic of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan - Criminal Procedure Code (EN) 2000

General Part


Chapter XIV

Article 124. Concept and types of evidence

124.1. Reliable evidence (information, documents, other items) obtained by the court or the parties to criminal proceedings shall be considered as prosecution evidence. Such evidence :

124.1.1. shall be obtained in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Criminal Procedure, without restriction of constitutional human and civil rights and liberties or with restrictions on the grounds of a court decision (on the basis of the investigator‘s decision in the urgent cases described in this Code) ;
124.1.2. shall be produced in order to show whether or not the act was a criminal one, whether or not the act committed had the ingredients of an offence, whether or not the act was committed by the accused, whether or not he is guilty, and other circumstances essential to determining the charge correctly.

124.2. The following shall be accepted as evidence in criminal proceedings :

124.2.1. statements by the suspect, the accused, the victim and witnesses ;
124.2.2. the expert’s opinion ;
124.2.3. material evidence ;
124.2.4. records of investigative and court procedures ;
124.2.5. other documents.

General Part


Chapter XIV

Article 129. The preservation of material evidence and other items

129.1. Material evidence shall where possible be packed and kept in sealed form in the case file; if it is of a large size, it shall be given for safekeeping to an organisation, institution or appropriate person, subject to their consent.

129.2. During the prosecution, as soon as the following items have been examined, and no later than 7 (seven) days after they were obtained, the prosecuting authority shall deposit in the state bank :

129.2.1. precious metals and stones, pearls and jewellery made from them ;
129.2.2. cash in national and foreign currency, cheques, securities, bonds and lottery tickets.

129.3. Cash in national or foreign currency acquired during the investigation as well as other securities shall be kept with the prosecution file if it has or they have individual characteristics of significance to the prosecution.

129.4. The material evidence and other items acquired during the case shall be kept by the prosecuting authority until their allocation is settled by final decision of the court and by the decision of the prosecuting authority to discontinue the prosecution. In the circumstances provided for in this Code, a decision on the material evidence may also be taken before the conclusion of the prosecution.

129.5. When a legal dispute concerning an item added to the prosecution file as material evidence has to be heard by a civil court, this item shall be kept until the decision on the civil case becomes final.

Article 130. Safekeeping of items during a criminal prosecution

130.1. When material evidence and other items are kept, and if they are examined by an expert or sent to another investigating authority, prosecutor or court concerned with the criminal case, the appropriate measures shall be taken to prevent these items from becoming lost, damaged, spoilt, disarranged or coming into contact with each other.

130.2. When a prosecution file is sent anywhere, all material evidence and other items sent with the file shall be recorded in the letter which accompanies the file, as well as on a separate list or in a note attached to the indictment. The places where the items are kept, if they are not sent with the prosecution file, shall be recorded in the above-mentioned documents.

130.3. Material evidence and other items sent by post or by hand shall be examined by the expert, preliminary investigator, investigator, prosecutor or judge and compared with the letter accompanying them, the list, the note attached to the indictment, the records describing their characteristics and acquisition and other prosecution material. A record shall be drawn up of the examination process and of its results.

Article 131. Decisions about material evidence before the end of the prosecution

131.1. Before the prosecution ends, the prosecuting authority shall return the following material evidence either to the owner or to the lawful holder :

131.1.1. perishable items ;
131.1.2. items which are in daily use at home ;
131.1.3. domestic animals, birds and other animals which need daily care ;
131.1.4. cars and other means of transport not retained to satisfy a civil claim or a property demand.

131.2. Where the owner or lawful holder of the items provided for in Article 131.1 of this Code is not known, or for some reason their return is impossible, these items shall be given to the appropriate organisations to be used, kept or cared for.

Article 132. Decisions about material evidence after the end of the prosecution

132.0. When the court gives a judgment or the prosecuting authority gives a decision to discontinue the prosecution, the following rules shall be observed in connection with the solution of matters relating to the material evidence :

132.0.1. the instruments used to commit the offence and belonging to the convicted person, as well as items which are prohibited from circulation, shall be confiscated and given to the appropriate organisations; if they are not of any value they shall be destroyed ;
132.0.2. other items of no value shall be destroyed or, at the request of interested persons, may be given to them ;
132.0.3. money and valuables removed from their owners as a result of the criminal act shall be returned to their holders, their owners or the legal heirs thereof ;
132.0.4. money and valuables which were obtained as a result of the offence, or are the subject of the offence, shall contribute by decision of the court to compensation for the damage caused by the offence; if the victim is unknown, they shall become state property ;
132.0.5. during the period for which the prosecution file is kept, documents that are material evidence shall be kept in the case file or shall be given to interested organisations and persons.

Rome Statute

Article 93 Other forms of cooperation

1. States Parties shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Part and under procedures of national law, comply with requests by the Court to provide the following assistance in relation to investigations or prosecutions:

(j) The protection of victims and witnesses and the preservation of evidence;