European Court Considers Appeal of Azerbaijani Newspaper’s Editor

Society Materials 11 October 2007 18:20

Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr K. Zarbaliyeva / The European Court on Human Rights entertained the appeal of Azerbaijani Gundalik Azerbaijan and Realny Azerbaijan newspapers' Editor-in-Chief, Eynulla Fatullayev, his attorney Isakhan Ashurov, told Trend on 11 October.

On 20 April 2007, Fatullayev was sentenced to two years and six months imprisonment on a special lawsuit brought forward by the Chief of the Centre for Protection of the Rights of Refugees and IDPs, Tatyana Chaladze. She accused him of offending the occupied Azerbaijani Khojali region's former residents.

According to Ashurov, consideration of the appeal at the European Court may harm Azerbaijan's image. The accusations in accordance with Articles 214.1 (threat of terror) and 283.2.2 (abuse of service powers to provoke social, national, race, or religious hostility) and 213.2.2 (tax evasion) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan are groundless, the attorney said. According to him, the National Defence Ministry was investigating the case non-professionally.

The public prosecutor urged the trial should continue.

At today's hearing Fatullayev testified against the accusations brought against him. According to the journalist, the investigation failed to prove that in his article 'The Aliyevs Go to War' he tried to stop transportation of Azerbaijani oil and stated that Azerbaijan would join the anti-Iranian coalition. The list of the points, including the threat of being bombed by Iran, was taken from a range of Iranian media sources and official statements, Fatullayev said.

"During his visit to Azerbaijan, the Iranian Minister said in case Azerbaijan joins the anti-Iranian coalition, fourteen Azerbaijani targets will be bombed," the Editor said.

"In the recent two years I have had no tax problems. I consider the Tax Minister to be a professional. He knows tax legislation very well and I cannot believe his employees make such mistakes while checking tax payments," he added.

The trial will continue on 18 October.