Today, Nasimi District Court denied a motion filed by the imprisoned editor-in-chief of Khural Newspaper, Avaz Zeynalli to replace his pre-trial detention with house arrest. Zeynalli was sentenced to three months of pre-trial detention on October 28th, 2011 by the Nasimi District Court. Judge Etibar Humbatov presided over the hearing.
The hearing was declared closed to the public and media representatives were not allowed to attend. Zeynalli’s lawyer, Elchin Sadigov, said that Avaz Zeynalli attended the hearing, but that the rights of defendant were violated.
“Yesterday we were told that judge Shalala Hasanova will preside over the hearing. However, today we taught that judge Etibar Humbatov will preside over the hearing. At beginning hearing, I filed a motion asking court to allow my client to sit next to his lawyer. The judge did not fulfill the motion. The judge decided not to replace pre- trial detention with house arrest. We will file an appeal against this decision,” said Sadigov.
Avaz Zeynalli was sentenced to 3 months of pre-trial detention on October 28th based on a criminal case launched against him under Articles 311.3.3 and 311.3.4 of the Criminal Code, for taking a large bribe and taking a bribe in conjunction with threats, respectively. He was arrested by the Fight against Corruption Department of the General Prosecutor’s Office following a complaint by MP Gular Ahmedova, who claims that the editor extorted money from her.