Bank account of Azadliq newspaper can be frozen

April 8th, 2013

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The bank account of the Azadliq newspaper can be frozen for the second time, the deputy editor of the newspaper Rahim Hajiyev reported to the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) on April 8. Hajiyev said that the editorial office of the newspaper received a relevant notice from the Yasamal District Department for the Execution of Judgments on April 5.

“In the notice the Department requires that we fulfill the court decision within 10 days. After the expiration of the period, mandatory execution of the judgment will be applied, which means that our bank account will be frozen once again” said Hajiyev.

Hajiyev also noted that all necessary legal steps would be taken in connection with the case.

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.