Today, Baku Appeals Court held a preliminary hearing on the appeal filed by Azerbaijan National Statehood Party Head Nemat Panahli and his friend Jeyhun Farzullayev. They are appealing against the 17 June 2011 ruling of Nasimi District Court.
Panahli and his lawyer Samir Isayev, along with Farzullayev and his lawyer Elchin Aliyev, and the public prosecutor Ehtiram Bakhshaliyev were in attendance.
Citing the lack of an objective trial in the court of first instance, the defendants’ lawyers filed a motion demanding a court investigation into the case and change to the prison sentences.
After a short period of deliberation, the Judge Aflatun Gasimov rejected the motions. The hearing will continue on August 10, 2011.
During the trial, an IRFS employee Rasim Aliyev was harrassed by police and prevented from carrying out his journalistic work.
On January 8, 2011, Azerbaijan National Statehood Party Head Nemat Panahli and his friend Jeyhun Farzullayev were detained after a police complaint filed by citizen Eldar Rzayev. On January 10, the Nasimi District Court sentenced Panahli and Farzullayev to 2 months of pre-trial detention, charging them under Article 221.3 of the Criminal Code. The complaint stemmed from a dispute that broke out with regard to a car sold to Rzayev by Panahli. On January 17, Baku Appeals court upheld the decision. On June 17, Nasimi District Court sentenced Panahli to 6 years, and Farzullayev 4 years in jail.
Panahli’s supporters believe that the arrests are linked to articles published in P.S.Nota newspaper that contained criticism of the ruling authorities.