Appeals Court upholds another huge fine on Azadliq newspaper

Rahim Hacıyev

On February 19 the Baku Appeals Court, presided by Judge Ilgar Damirov, heard the appeal filed by the Azadliq newspaper against the fine imposed on the newspaper based on the lawsuit of Kabira Mammadova, owner of the Bina Shopping Center. Media Rights Institute director, lawyer Rashid Hajili told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety that the appeal was denied by the court. According to Hajili, the appellate court upheld the original ruling without doing any analysis or providing well-grounded arguments.

Background: Kabira Mammadova filed a lawsuit with the Yasamal District Court claiming that her business reputation was damaged by the articles “Kabira Mammadova’s Eurovision Operation” and “Kabira Mammadova’s New Title Deed Operation” published in Azadlig newspaper.  On October 22, 2012 the court partially granted the lawsuit, ordering Azadliq newspaper and its employee Ramin Deko to pay Mammadova 30,000AZN and 2,000AZN in compensation respectively.

Note that previously, on February 14, the Supreme Court upheld another 30,000 AZN fine on Azadliq newspaper. Total amount of fines levied on the newspaper in 2012 equals to 69,000 AZN.

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