Azerbaijani Editor-in-Chief Provides Author of Article Causing his Arrest (edited)

Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend corr. I.Alizadeh / Eynulla Fatullayev was proven by the Editor-in-Chief of the Gundalik Azerbaijan and Realni Azerbaijan newspapers, to be the author of the article 'Aliyevs Go to War' on 30 March 2007 using the alias Rovshan Bagirov, Fatullayev said during the process presided over by Judge Mehdi Asadov in the Serious Crimes Court on 10 October.

The article warned of the dangers that may be caused to Azerbaijan in the case of war between the US and Iran. Once Azerbaijan joins the anti-Iranian coalition Iran, it may strike a blow to the Azerbaijani oil and gas structure, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, and strategic points.

Eynulla Fatullayev was charged due to his articles published in his newspapers by the lawsuit of Tatyana Chaladzeh, head of the State Committee on Refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDP) on 20 April. Fattulayev was sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment by the decision of the Yasamal District Court of Baku City.

The National Security Ministry brought another criminal case forward regarding this issue on 16 May on terrorist threats. Fattuleyev was transferred from his Bayil Investigation Cell to the National Security Ministry's investigation cell. Fatullayev was sentenced to three months of imprisonment in accordance with Article 214.1 (terrorist threat) and 283.2.2 (nationalism, racism) of the Criminal Code in July.

Most journalists of the newspaper were made accountable in order that we could reveal the author of the article. "I wrote the article signed by the name Rovshan Bagirov," Fatullayev said.

Chingiz Shukurov, the state prosecutor, brought forward an indictment during the process. The indictment stated that Fatullayev was charged with intimidating the Azerbaijani Government with terrorism, inspiring nationalism and racism in the country's southern regions, as well as abuse of power, and tax evasion.

In response to the Judge's questions Fatullayev said the questions were not clear to him and he did not consider himself guilty. "Nobody can keep me in prison due to my expressing my own opinion," Fatullayev said.

Fatullayev said he appealed to the Azerbaijani President, Ilham Aliyev, to pardon him.

"I appealed to Ilham Aliyev with the request that he pardon me. I did so by request of the Council of Europe's Commission on Human Rights, Thomas Hammerberg. Some editors consider my appeal to the President to be wrong. But to whom should I appeal beside the President?" Fatullayev said.

Fatullayev charged Etibar Mammadov, the leader of the Azerbaijani National Independent Party, and MP Gudrat Hasanguliyev, the Chairman of the Popular Front of Unified Azerbaijan Party, of inactivity when he was kept in prison.

The legal process will continue on 11 October at 10.00am.

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