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The bank account of Azadliq newspaper has been frozen by the order of the Yasamal District Court, deputy editor of newspaper Rahim Hajiyev told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) on April 16. According to Hajiyev, the bank account of the newspaper has been frozen in connection with the execution of the court’s judgment which requires that the newspaper pay 30,000 AZN to Baku Metro head Tagi Ahmadov in compensation.
“We sent a complaint to Yasamal District Court, when we received a notice from the court requiring us to pay the fine within 10 days. But it seems have been ignored. We’ll take necessary legal steps” said Hajiyev.
Background: Head of Baku Metro, Tagi Ahmadov, initiated action with the Yasamal District Court against Azadliq newspaper, claiming that his dignity, honour and business reputation had been “insulted” in the article titled “Tagi Ahmadov misappropriated five kopecks”, published in the April 8 issue of the newspaper. The article noted that after metro fares were raised to 20 kopecks it became impossible to use five kopeck payments previously loaded onto metro cards. Ahmadov was asking the court to require that the newspaper issue a retraction and pay damages of 200,000 AZN (approx. US$255,000). On June 2012, the Yasamal District Court issued a ruling ordering the newspaper to publish a retraction and pay 30,000 AZN to Ahmadov in compensation. On September 13, Baku Appeals Court upheld this decision. A cassation appeal against this decision was rejected by the Supreme Court on 14 February 2013. On April 5, 2013 Yasamal District Department for the Execution of Judgments sent a notice to the newspaper’s editorial office which required that it fulfill the court decision within 10 days. The notice stated that after the expiration of the period, mandatory execution of the judgment would be applied