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Sumgayit Court of Appeal continued the preliminary hearing on the appeal filed by Rufat and Rovshan Zahidov, relatives of Ganimat Zahid – the editor-in-chief of Azadliq newspaper and the host of the Azerbaijani Hour TV program who currently lives in exile in France. Rufat Zahidov is Ganimat Zahid’s nephew and Rovshan Zahidov is his cousin. Rufat and Rovshan Zahidov were arrested in July 2015, and are charged under Articles 234.4.1 (illegal manufacturing, processing, purchase, storage, transfer, transportation or selling of narcotics or psychotropic substances – on preliminary arrangement by a group of persons) and 234.4.3 (- in large amount) of the Criminal Code. On 28 June 2016, Baku Grave Crimes Court convicted both men and sentenced each of them to 6 years in jail.
At today’s hearing, the defendants were not in attendance, and the court discussed the defence motions filed at the previous hearing. Note that Rovshan Zahidov’s lawyer Tahir Khanaliyev had filed a motion to examine the evidence.
The public prosecutor asked for the motion to be dismissed, and the judge denied the motion.
The next hearing is scheduled for October 14.
Speaking after the hearing, lawyers Tahir Khanaliyev and Bahruz Bayramov said they would appeal the decision of the preliminary court session.