Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec.04 / Trend , G.Bagirov /
Court proceedings began today against a group of journalists accused of blackmailing businessmen in Azerbaijan.
A preparatory meeting was held on the criminal case of Eldar Asgarov and Shahlar Veliyev and Nushabe Gasimova at the Heinous Crimes Court. The trial will begin Dec. 10.
Guba district businessmen Bakhtiyar Mammadov, Rufat Gurbanov, Zafa Masimov, Iskender Huseynov and Rovshan Babayev appealed to the Interior Ministry's Combating Organized Crime Department saying they had been blackmailed.
The investigation revealed that Veliyev, Askerov and Gasimova demanded 1,000 manat from each the owners of the Gyubba, Ramin, Gosha Chinar, Afsane and Rustam cafes. The defendants threatened to spread libelous information about the businessmen if they refused to pay.
Veliyev and Askerov admitted their guilt in court.
The journalists work for Yeni Azerbaijan Dunyasi, Guneshli Azerbaijan and Ganun Ve Gercheklik.
The journalists are accused of several counts of extortion.
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