Today a hearing took place in the Baku Appellate Court in connection with an appeal filed against the decision adopted by Narimanov District Court on "Azerbaijan" Printing House's lawsuit against "Khural" Newspaper.
The hearing was chaired by Baku Appellate Court Judge Ilham Asadov. Judge Asadov upheld the lower court's decision. Zeynalli told the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety that a cassation complaint will now be filed.
Recall that the Republic of Azerbaijan Presidential Works Department Executive Director Agabey Asgerov filed a lawsuit against "Khural" Newspaper Chief Editor Avaz Zeynalli and correspondent Kamal Huseyn on 28 August 2007. The case stems from the article "Publishing House Cuts Gold" which was run in the 24-30 July 2007 edition of "Khural" Newspaper, the article "Death Place of Azerbaijan's House no, Azerbaijan factory", which was run in the 19-25 August 2007 edition of "Khural" Newspaper. The articles reported alleged law violations committed by "Azerbaijan" Publishing House's director, and Asagarov claims the articles were defamatory and libelous. The plaintiff was seeking an apology and refutation for the newspaper and the institution of a 250,000 AZN fine.
The Yasamal District Court ruled that Avaz Zeynalli is convicted under Article 147.2 (to slander) of the Criminal Code and must serve 1.6 years of corrective labor. Fifteen percent the editor-in-chief's salary must be paid to the state during this period.