April 18th, 2012
The auction of the confiscated property formerly belonging to Khural
newspaper did not take place today as had been scheduled.

Employees of
the Specialized Property Auction Center said that there was no
available auctioneer, and it will be rescheduled for a date within the
next 45 days.

The preliminary price for the confiscated computer sets, dictaphone,
TV, printer and other technical equipment was assessed at 1430 AZN.
Given the postponement of the auciton, the prices will be reduced by
15 percent.

On October 19th 2011, the property of Khural newspaper was confiscated
following a decision of Narimanov District Court, when Khural failed
to pay 19 000 AZN compensation to the presidential administration head
Ramiz Mehdiyev and the State Support Fund for Mass Media director
Vugar Safarli. Khural, which was published weekly from October 2002
until September 20th 2011 and daily after September 20th, was forced
to stopped publishing when printing houses suddenly refused to print
the newspaper on October 21st 2011.

Avaz Zeynalii, the editor-in-chief of Khural, was arrested following
the lawsuit of MP Gular Ahmadova. The Anti-Corruption Office launched
a criminal case against Zeynalli under article 311.3.3 (taking a large
bribe) and article 311.3.4 (extortion). Later he was charged under
article 306 (contempt of court) and article 213 (tax evasion). A
number of local and international human rights organizations believe
that these charges are trumped-up, and that main reason for Zeynalli’s
arrest is his articles critical of the authorities.