Nasimi District Court under presiding judge Emin Mehdiyev held a closed hearing on the torture lawsuit filed by Tolishi-Sado newspaper chief editor Hilal Mammadov. The civil society representatives and journalists, who were attending the hearing as observers, were asked to leave the courtroom.
Mammadov’s lawyer Ramiz Mammadov told Objective TV that, Hilal Mammadov provided an account of torture against himself. After hearing his account, the jury retired for deliberation and after 3 hours the judge announced his decision to deny the lawsuit in a complete absence of attendees.
The chief editor of "Tolishi Sado" newspaper and the deputy head of the Talysh Cultural Centre, HilalMammadov, was arrested on June 21, 2012 on charges of drug possession. On June 22 Nizami District Court sentenced Mammadov to 3 months of pre-trial detention under Article 234.4.3 of the Criminal Code (illegal possession of drugs). On July 4, he faced new charges under Articles 274 (high treason) and 283.2.2 (incitement of national, racial, social and religious hatred, hostility, and ethnic discrimination). Once convicted, Mammadov may face confiscation of his property and imprisonment up to 12 years.