On 17 November, in the Baku Appeals Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Rasul Seferov, a hearing was held on the appeal of FANAT.AZ sport website’s project head Zahir Azamat and sport writer Natig Mukhtarli from the 7 October, 2009 verdict of the Nasimi District Court. The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety was told this by Natig Mukhtarli. He said that the judge adopted a decision to uphold the verdict of the Nasimi District Court.
“Khazar-Lenkeran” football club’s president Mais Mansimov filed a lawsuit against Zahir Azamat and Natig Mukhtarli in the special format claiming that his honor and dignity were insulted in Natig Mukhtarli’s column articles on the “FANAT.AZ” sports website. On 7 October the Yasamal District Court issued a verdict to sentence Natig Mukhtarli to one year of corrective labor and Zahir Azamat to six months of corrective labor. Both journalists have to pay 20% of their salaries to Mais Mansimov.
Recently the president of football club “Khazar-Lenkeran” Mais Mansimov filed a lawsuit under article 148 of the Criminal Code against the project head of Fanat.az website Zahir Azamat, the website’s editor-in-chief Ali Sahib and sport writer Natig Mukhtarli. The lawsuit stems from Ali Sahib’s articles “Once again about Mansimovs”, “Journalists were sentenced,” and Zahir Azamat’s article “Who does Mubariz Mansimov work for?” and Natig Mukhtarli’s article “Comedy court”. On 20 November during a preliminary hearing, Nasimi District Court Judge Ikram Shirinov issued a decision not consider the lawsuit.
“FANAT.AZ” website is a sport agency and it has been operating since 2007.