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On February 27 Baku Appeals Court heard an appeal filed by Khural newspaper chief editor Avaz Zeynalli and his lawyer Elchin Sadigov against October 9, 2012 decision of the Baku Administrative-Economic Court #2, which denied the journalist’s lawsuit against Baku Investigative Prison. Judge Ulvi Mayilov presided over the hearing. Zeynalli sued the prison over the searches before his meeting with his lawyer and confiscation of his letter from the lawyer.
Zeynalli’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov filed a petition for postponement of the trial, as the presence of his client was not ensured. The judge granted the petition and postponed the trial for an indefinite term.
Background: Avaz Zeynalli, was arrested on October 28, 2011 following a lawsuit brought by MP Gular Ahmadova on October 19, 2011. 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) of the Criminal Code. He was later charged under article 306 (contempt of court) and article 213.1 (tax evasion).
A large number of local and international human rights organizations strongly believe that the charges against Avaz Zeynalli are trumped-up and that he was arrested for his articles criticizing high-ranking state officials.