Azadliq newspaper ordered to pay over 30,000 EUR libel damages

July 26th, 2013

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Azadlig newspaper will pay damages of 32,000 AZN (approximately 30,800 EUR) to the local businesswoman, the owner of the Bine trade center Kabira Mammadova, in respect of an article which alleged that she demanded exorbitant rates for rental of stores at the shopping centre, overrated charges for the use of electricity and other unofficial payments from the tenants.

On July 22nd the Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal decision ordering Azadliq newspaper to pay 32,000 AZN damages to Mammadova, the editor of newspaper, Rahim Hajiyev told IRFS.

According to Hajiyev, the court have made the decision without conducting any serious investigations.
“What the courts are doing is nothing but approving decisions of the government against Azadliq. Everyone knows that the newspaper is not capable of paying such a large fine. It seems the government wants to suspend activity of our newspaper in the pre-election period”, he said.

Background: Kabira Mammadova sued the Azadlig newspaper on July 7, 2012 for the articles “Kabira Mammadova’s Eurovision Operation” and “Kabira Mammadova’s New Title Deed Operation”, claiming damage to her good name and business reputation. On October 22, 2012 the Yasamal District Court partially granted the lawsuit, ordering Azadliq newspaper and its employee Ramin Deko to pay Mammadova 30,000AZN and 2,000AZN in compensation respectively.
Azadliq is a daily newspaper published since December 24, 1989.