Today, 7 April, in the Yasamal District Court, under the Chairmanship of Judge Tahir Ismayilov, a hearing was held on the lawsuit of Azerbaijan International University (AIU) Director Elshad Abdullayev against "Tezadlar" Newspaper Chief Editor Asif Merzili and the newspaper’s journalist Zumrud Mammadova for defamation.
A verdict has been read during the hearing, and according to the decision of the court, Asif Marzili has been imprisoned for one year and Zumrud Mammadova has been sentenced to six month of corrective labor.
Two months ago, AIU Director Elshad Abdullayev filed a lawsuit against "Tezadlar" Newspaper Chief Editor Asif Merzili and the newspaper’s journalist Zumrud Mammadova on the basis of Criminal Code articles 147.2 and 148 (libel and causing damage to honor and dignity). The lawsuit stems from the article entitled “Is Mahir Abdullayev in Baku?” published in the 19-26 2008 edition of the newspaper and series of articles related to this topic. In the lawsuit, E. Abdullayev sought the closure of “Tezadlar” Newspaper, the arrest of both journalists and the institution of a 30,000 AZN fine against both journalists for moral damages.
Outside the court today, employees of the Penitentiary Services interfered in the professional work of IRFS employees in front of the Yasamal District Court when the IRFS representatives attempted to film A. Merzili as he was taken to Bayil Prison.