Baku Grave Crimes Court under judge Ramella Allahverdiyeva held a hearing on the case of Khural newspaper editor-in-chief Avaz Zeynalli.
His laywer Elchin Sadigov filed a petition to the court asking to suspend the case based on tax evasion charge until the other ongoing legal proceeding in Baku Administrative-Economic Court #1 based on the same charge is completed.
The judge noted that an inquiry will be sent to Baku Administrative-Economic Court #1 regarding the above-mentioned proceeding and that the petition will remain open until there is a response to the inquiry.
Then Avaz Zeynalli asked the judge to provide an explanation for his being sentenced to a 10 000 AZN fine based on the lawsuit by presidential administration head Ramiz Mehdiyev. “If Mehdiyev still demands compensation, then recognize him as a victim and enable his presence in the trial” said Zeynalli. Furthermore, Zeynalli asked the court to provide him with a laptop, saying that it is difficult to handwrite petitions. But his petitions were denied.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge noted that in the next trial she will rule for the obligatory presence of the victim, if he does not attend the hearing once again.
The next hearing was scheduled for June 20th 3:00pm.
Zeynalli was arrested following a lawsuit brought by MP Gular Ahmadova on October 28th. The Anti-Corruption Office charged him under Article 311.3.3 (taking a large bribe) and Article 311.3.4 (taking a bribe via the application of threat), and then Nasimi District Court sentenced him to 3 months of pre-trial detention. On January 17th 2012 his prison term was extended by three months, and then by another month on April 12th.