Editor-in-chief of Azerbaijani Tolishi Sado newspaper accused of treason (UPDATE)

Details were added (the first version posted at 15:36)

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 4 / Trend K.Zarbaliyeva /

The founder and editor-in-chief of Tolishi Sado newspaper arrested earlier in Azerbaijan, Hilal Mammadov, is accused of collaboration with the intelligence agencies of Iran and the activities aimed to prejudice the sovereignty, national security and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

Prosecutor General's Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan issued a joint statement about a criminal case of the founder and editor-in-chief of Tolishi Sado newspaper.

Recently, in order to mislead the society some media has spread false information about alleged illegal arrest of the founder and editor-in-chief of Tolishi Sado newspaper in connection with his professional activities, the information received by Trend says.

According to information, a criminal case and arrest of Mammadov relate specifically to commitment of acts dangerous to society.

Hilal Mammadov was arrested on June 21 in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Law "On Operational-Investigative Activities" based on the appeal of a citizen and the operational information received by the Ministry of Interior, about the activities against national security and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, aimed to foment national, racial or religious hatred and enmity, as well as the engagement in drug trafficking as a result of involvement in co-operation by the intelligence services of one of the foreign countries, the report said.

During the investigation it was found that Mammadov, for many years taking advantage of the journalistic profession, and position of head of the cultural center, since 1992 has been involved to a secret cooperation by intelligence officer of Iran Abdoli Ali Ghazali oglu and has been engaged in activities aimed at detriment of sovereignty, national security and territorial security of Azerbaijan, regularly receiving in return money.

Based on these instructions, Mammadov collected and conveyed to Iran's intelligence service information necessary for use in carrying out hostile activities against Azerbaijan and determined individuals with similar information and linked them with representatives of this organization and thereby committed treason, carrying out espionage.

Continuing criminal activity, Mammadov entered into a criminal connection with Ali Ghazali oglu and others with a view to undermine the security of the constitutional system of the state, using his official position, has committed acts openly aimed at inciting ethnic hatred and discrimination, making statements undermining the confidence and respect for life, culture, traditions, history, indigenous peoples residing in the territory of the republic in his speeches at different conferences held in Iran, in an interview with Morning 2 TV channel, in articles published in the Tolishi Sado newspaper translated and distributed books.

Some 33.183 grams of heroin, a computer used in illegal activities, and other storage media were found and seized from Hilal Mammadov and in his apartment in front of witnesses after the detention.

Based on the above Hilal Mammadov was brought as an accused under Articles 274 (treason), 283.2.2 (inciting national, racial, social or religious hatred and enmity) and 234.4.3 (illegal purchase, possession and sale of large amounts of drugs) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan and arrested.

Rights of Hilal Mammadov for assistance, the right to defense, to refuse to testify or participate in the investigation envisaged by the law were fully ensured during the investigation, all proceedings were carried out with the participation of his counsel.

To ensure objectivity, comprehensiveness and completeness of the investigation in terms of complexity of criminal case an investigative team consisting of employees of the Prosecutor General's Office, the Ministries of National Security and Internal Affairs has been established, and operational-search activities are being carrying out.

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