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On October 30th the Narimanov District Court heard the lawsuit filed by the arrested chief editor of the Khural newspaper, Avaz Zeynalli, against the Press Council. Judge Mazahir Sadigov presided over the hearing. The judge denied the motion filed by Zeynalli’s representative Zibeyda Zakariyyayeva asking the court to ensure the editor-in-chief’s presence in the hearing, saying that Zakariyyayeva’s letter of attorney allowed her to act on behalf of only the Khural newspaper, not Avaz Zeynalli. The hearing was postponed until November 13th, 11:30am, with the purpose to identify the plaintiff.
Avaz Zeynalli sued the Press Council for including the name of the Khural newspaper in its blacklist on September 19, 2011. In addition, the Khural chief editor demands compensation from the Press Council, claiming that the newspaper’s business image was damaged in the Council’s statement issued on September 22.
Avaz Zeynalli was arrested on October 28, 2011 and is charged under Article 311.3.3 (taking large bribe) and 311.3.4(extortion) of the Criminal Code, based on the lawsuit filed by former MP Guler Ahmedova. Ahmedova claims she was blackmailed by Zeynalli, who allegedly tried to extort money from her.
A recent video footage posted on a social networking website exposed Guler Ahmedova’s involvement in corrupt activities, where Ahmedova demanded a huge amount of bribe from former university rector Elshad Abdullayev. After that Ahmedova was deprived of her parliamentary mandate. The Prosecutor General’s office has launched a criminal case against her under Article 178.3.2 (fraud).