Court’s Decision on Case of Azerbaijani Mukhalifat Newspaper to be Taken on 6 July

Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr K. Zarbaliyevca / Hearing on appeal of the chief editor and an employee of the Azerbaijani Mukhalifat newspaper, Rovshan Kabirli and Yashar Aghazadeh, was held on 5 July under the chairmanship of a Judge of the Court of Appeal. Kabirli noted that he did not believe he would be sentenced fairly. He added that the idea published in the newspaper had been also published previously in other newspapers and had not been disproved. Aghazadeh refused from testifying.

Attorney Rashid Hajili resting upon the fact that in the European practice journalists cannot be detained for their ideas considers the arrest of his clients to be violation of freedom of speech in Azerbaijan.

Human rights activist Aslan Ismayilov noted that though the ideas were proved by facts, their publication contradicted to national traditions of Azerbaijan.

The attorney of MP Jalal Aliyev, Ikram Shirinov, attracted the attention of the Judges to the harsh accusations voiced by Kabirli which proved he was not sorry for his actions and asked the Court to reject the appeal and retain the decision of Baku City Yasamal District Court in effect.

On 6 July the Court will announce its final decision on the case.

The journalists were charged in accordance with MP Jalal Aliyev's complaint that resulted in prosecution in regards to Article 147.2 (calumny in serious crime) of the Criminal Code, resulting in the imprisonment of each defendant for two years and six months by the Yasamal District Court on 16 April. The reason for the lawsuit was the article 'A.M.A.Y. - Trade Mark of Aliyevs' stating that Jalal Aliyev was the patron of the AMAY trade centre.

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