Purposes and basic principles of criminal proceedings
Article 17. Guarantee of the right to inviolability of domicile
17.1. Except in the circumstances provided for in this Code, nobody may enter a dwelling without the consent of those living there.
17.2. The examination and searching of residential, service or industrial buildings, and other investigative and procedural acts which limit the right to property may be carried out only in accordance with this Code on the basis of a court decision.
EVIDENCE AND PROOF
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.
EVIDENCE AND PROOF
Article 125. The availability of evidence
125.1. If there is no doubt as to the accuracy and source of the information, documents and other items and as to the circumstances in which they were obtained, they may be accepted as evidence.
125.2. Information, documents and other items shall not be accepted as evidence in a criminal case if they are obtained in the following circumstances :
125.2.1. if the accuracy of the evidence is or may be affected by the fact that the parties to the criminal proceedings are deprived of their lawful rights, or those rights are restricted, through violation of their constitutional human and civil rights and liberties or other requirements of this Code ;
125.2.2. through the use of violence, threats, deceit, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading
125.2.3. through violation of the defence rights of the suspect or accused, or the rights of a person who does not know the language used in the criminal proceedings ;
125.2.4. where the rights and duties of a party to the criminal proceedings are not explained, or not explained fully and accurately and, as a result, he exercises them wrongly ;
125.2.5. where the criminal prosecution and investigative or other procedures are conducted by a person who does not have the right to do so ;
125.2.6. where a person whose participation should be objected to, and who knows or should know the reasons precluding his participation, takes part in the criminal proceedings ;
125.2.7. where the rules governing investigative or other procedures are seriously violated ;
125.2. 8. where the document or other item is taken from a person unable to recognise it or who cannot confirm its accuracy, its source and the circumstances of its acquisition ;
125.2.9. where evidence is taken from a person unknown at the trial or from an unknown source ;
125.2.10. where evidence is taken through means conflicting with modern scientific views.
125.3. Information, documents and other items taken in the circumstances described in Article 125.2. of this Code shall be regarded as invalid and may not be used to prove any circumstance with a view to determining a charge correctly.
125.4. Material obtained through the violations described in Article 125.2. of this Code may be used as evidence of the violations concerned and the guilt of those committing them.
125.5. After a violation of the requirements of the Code of Criminal Procedure by the prosecution, the material whose evidential value is deemed to have been lost may be accepted as evidence at the request of the defence. In this case, such evidence may not concern other participants in the proceedings, but only the relevant suspect or accused. Acceptance of this material as evidence shall not mean that its accuracy cannot be disputed.
125.6. Any complaint lodged or decision taken on any matter significant to the prosecution concerned shall only confirm the fact that the complaint was lodged or the procedural decision was taken and shall not be accepted as evidence.
125.7. The prosecuting authority shall determine, either on its own initiative or further to an application by the parties to the criminal proceedings, whether information, documents and other items may not be used as evidence during the criminal prosecution, and whether they may be put to limited use.
125.8. If evidence is obtained in accordance with the requirements of this Code, it shall be for the objecting party to demonstrate grounds for its refusal.
125.9. When a criminal case is examined by the jury, the court president shall produce the material which cannot be accepted as evidence, explain its lack of legal justification to the jurors and prevent an erroneous point of view from being adopted by the parties to the criminal proceedings.
EVIDENCE AND PROOF
Article 126. Statements by the suspect, accused, victim and witnesses
126.1. Oral and written information received by the prosecuting authority from the suspect, accused, victim or witnesses in pursuance of this Code shall be considered as evidence.
126.2. Only statements based on the information or conclusions of a person directly comprehending the act and its causes, character, mechanism or development may be considered as evidence.
126.3. Information given to the prosecuting authority by the suspect, accused, victim or witnesses on the basis of hearsay may not be used as evidence. Only information derived from the words of a deceased person may exceptionally be accepted as evidence by court decision.
126.4. The value of evidence may not be assigned to statements given in the following situations :
126.4.1. when a person is agreed to be unable to comprehend or describe matters significant to the prosecution at the appropriate time ;
126.4.2. when a person refuses to undergo an examination by experts of his ability to comprehend or describe matters significant to the prosecution.
126.5. Information from persons who may not be questioned as witnesses shall not be used as evidence.
126.6. The accused person’s confession of guilt may be accepted as grounds for the charge against him only if confirmed by the contents of all the evidence on the case.
EVIDENCE AND PROOF
Article 127. The expert's opinion
127.1. The expert’s opinion, expressed in written form and based on his specialised knowledge of scientific, technical, artistic or professional fields, shall consist of :
127.1.1. his findings on the questions put to him by the prosecuting authority or the parties to the criminal proceedings, as well as on the investigation of other matters relating to his competence which emerge during the examination of the case file ;
127.1.2. a description of the investigation carried out by the expert to substantiate those findings.
127.2. The expert’s investigative techniques, the grounds for his answers to the questions asked, as well as other significant prosecution matters determined by the expert on his own initiative, shall be reflected in the expert's opinion.
127.3. The expert's opinion shall not be binding on the preliminary investigator, investigator, prosecutor or court; it shall be checked by the prosecuting authority in the same way as any other evidence and evaluated in the light of all the relevant facts. If the opinion is not approved, a reasoned decision to that effect shall be given.
Article 128. Material evidence
128.1. Any item that can help to determine circumstances of importance to the prosecution because of its characteristics, features, origin, place and time of discovery or the imprints it bears may be considered to be material evidence.
128.2. An item shall be considered as material evidence if so decided by the prosecuting authority.
128.3. The significance of an item as material evidence shall be accepted by the court if :
128.3.1. immediately after its acquisition, the item is described in detail and sealed, and other similar acts are carried out making it impossible significantly to alter the imprints it bears and its features or characteristics ;
128.3.2. the suspect, accused, victim or witness recognises it immediately before it is examined in court.
EVIDENCE AND PROOF
Article 134. Records of investigative procedures and court hearings
134.1. Records of investigative procedures and court hearings shall be documents drawn up in writing in accordance with this Code which confirm the prosecuting authority’s direct understanding of matters significant to the prosecution.
134.2. The records of the following investigative procedures, drawn up in accordance with this Code, may be used as evidence by the prosecuting authority :
134.2.1. examination of places and objects ;
134.2.2. body search ;
134.2.3. identification of persons and objects ;
134.2.4. seizure of property ;
134.2.5. search operations ;
134.2.6. attachment of property ;
134.2.7. confiscation of mail, telegraphic and other messages ;
134.2.8. interception of telephone or other conversations and interception of information sent by other technological means of communication ;
134.2.9. acquisition of information concerning not only financial transactions, bank account statements and tax payments but also personal, family, state, commercial or professional secrets ;
134.2.10. exhumation ;
134.2.11. questioning, confrontation and verification of testimony at the scene ;
134.2.12. taking of samples for examination ;
134.2.13. investigative experiments.
134.3. Records of the receipt of a verbal application regarding the offence, of a voluntary confession of guilt, of detention and of the explanation of persons’ rights and duties may be used as evidence confirming those facts.
134.4. The admissibility as evidence of records of investigative procedures which have not been registered or not been registered in time shall be decided by the court depending on the result of the investigation.
134.5. The incompleteness of the record of an investigative procedure may not be offset by the testimony of the preliminary investigator, investigator, prosecutor or circumstantial witness.
Article 135. Documents
135.1. Paper, electronic and other materials bearing information which may be of importance to the prosecution, in the form of letters, numbers, graphics or other signs, shall be considered as documents. A document setting out matters known to a person through his duties and his work, confirmed with his signature and drawn up in the form prescribed by legislation, shall be considered as an official document.
135.2. Documents which have the characteristics described in Article 128.1 of this Code may also be considered as material evidence.
135.3. Evidence in support of a charge shall be from the original documents or a true copy of the original. The use of copies of documents during criminal proceedings shall be permitted with the consent of the parties.
Article 136. Inclusion of documents in the prosecution file, their keeping in the file and their return
136.1. Documents shall be added to the prosecution file by the prosecuting authority and shall be kept in the case file for the whole period during which the file is kept.
136.2. When the lawful holder of the documents requires them for routine recording, accounting or other legal purposes, he shall be allowed to use them temporarily or to make copies thereof.
136.3. One year after the court judgment becomes final or after the prosecuting authority’s decision to discontinue the prosecution becomes final, the originals of the documents which are in the prosecution file may be returned to their lawful holders at the latter’s request. In this case, depending on where the prosecution file is kept, the investigator, prosecutor or court shall make copies of these documents, certify their validity and keep the copies in the file.
Article 137. The use as evidence of material obtained in the course of search operations
If material obtained as a result of a search operation is obtained in accordance with the law of the Azerbaijan Republic on search operations and is presented and verified in accordance with the requirements of this Code, it may be accepted as evidence for the prosecution.
EVIDENCE AND PROOF
Article 143. Collection of evidence
143.1. Evidence shall be collected during the investigation and court proceedings by questioning, confrontation, attachment of property, search operations, examination of places and objects, expert reports, presentation for identification and other procedures.
143.2. During the process of collecting evidence, the preliminary investigator, investigator, prosecutor or court shall have the right, at the request of parties to the criminal proceedings or on their own initiative, to request the presentation of documents and other items of significance to the prosecution by individuals, legal entities, officials and the authorities which carry out search operations, and to request checks and inspections by the authorised authorities and officials.
143.3. In accordance with this Code, defence counsel authorised to participate in criminal proceedings shall have the right, for the purpose of providing legal assistance, to present evidence and collect information, including the right to receive explanations from individuals and to request memoranda, references and other documents from various organisations and associations.
143.4. The suspect, accused, defence counsel, prosecutor, victim, civil party, defendant to the civil claim and their representatives, and individuals and legal entities, shall have the right to present objects and documents as well as oral and written information which may be regarded as evidence.
COERCIVE PROCEDURAL MEASURES
APPLICATION OF OTHER COERCIVE PROCEDURAL MEASURES DURING CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS
Article 177. The right to forcibly carry out investigative procedures
177.1. The prosecuting authority may, by force, carry out investigative procedures to guarantee the normal course of an investigation; it may take measures to make participants wait for the start of these procedures and to prevent them from leaving the place where they are to be held.
177.2. If the person concerned does not consent to the investigative procedure and if a court decision is requested for its compulsory conduct, the prosecutor in charge of the procedural aspects of the investigation shall apply to the court if he agrees with the investigator's reasoned request.
177.3. As a rule, a court decision shall be required in order to conduct the following investigative procedures by force :
177.3.1. examination, search or seizure and other investigative procedures in residential, service or industrial buildings ;
177.3.2. the body search of a person other than a detained or arrested person against his will ;
177.3.3. the attachment of property ;
177.3.4. the confiscation of postal, telegraphic or other messages ;
177.3.5. the interception of conversations held by telephone or other means and of information sent via communication media and other technical means ;
177.3.6. the obtaining of information about financial transactions, bank accounts or tax payments and private life or family, state, commercial or professional secrets ;
177.4. With the exception of examination, search and seizure, other investigative procedures in residential, service or industrial buildings and the investigative procedures provided for in Articles 177.3.6 and 177.3.7 of this Code may be conducted only under by court decision. The investigator may conduct the following procedures by force without a court decision :
177.4.1. on the grounds and under the circumstances provided for in Article 243.3 of this Code, he may conduct inspections, searches and seizures in residential, service or industrial buildings ;
177.4.2. he may conduct body searches in the circumstances provided for in Article 238.2 of this
177.4.3. he may seize property in the circumstances provided for in Article 249.5 of this Code ;
177.4.4. he may confiscate postal, telegraphic or other messages and intercept conversations held by telephone or other means and information sent via communication media and other technical means if there are circumstances in which evidence of serious or very serious offences against the individual or central government must be established without delay.
177.5. If the investigative procedures for which Articles 177.3.1, 177.3.2, 177.3.4 and 177.3.5 of this Code provide are carried out by reasoned decision of the investigator in circumstances allowing no delay, the investigator shall fulfil the duties laid down in Article 443.2 of this Code.
177.6. No court decision shall be necessary for the investigator to carry out the investigative procedures provided for in Article 177.3.1 of this Code in residential, service or industrial buildings with the permission or by the invitation of the owners of those premises.
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: