July 1st, 2008

A preliminary court hearing on “Azadlig Herekatchilari” Union’s lawsuit against “Azadlig” Newspaper, which was supposed to take place in the Yasamal District Court under the Chairmanship of Judge Elchin Gurbanov today (1 July), was postponed because of a motion made by the defendant’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov.

E. Sadigov said that he was in the U.S. and didn’t have enough time to prepare for the hearing, and asked for more time so he could be more familiar with the case materials. The plaintiff’s lawyer Orkhan Mammadzade said the motion was groundless and demanded that the hearing continue. Despite this, the judge fulfilled E. Sadigov’s motion and scheduled the next hearing for 10 July at 2:30 p.m.

The plaintiff’s representatives Kamil Behbudov and Nazar Nazarov, lawyer Orkhan Mammadzade, and the defendant’s representative “Azadlig” newspaper director Azer Ahmadov and lawyer Elchin Sadigov participated in the hearing.

This lawsuit, signed by "Azadlig Harakatchilari" Union Chairman Tahmasib Novruzov, recalls the history of "Azadlig" Newspaper and claims that the paper's current leadership is trying to divert the publication from its noble path. "After 'Azerbaijan Popular Front Party' (APFP) was created in 1995 on the basis of 'Azerbaijan Popular Front' (APF) movement, "Azadlig" newspaper – the property of APF has been functioning as the organ of the newspaper staff instead of an APFP organ. For moral damages caused to APF founders, the current leadership of the newspaper has to apologize through the press, the newspaper's current staff has to be dismissed, and a 150, 000 AZN fine should be paid by the newspaper to "Istigal" Museum so a corner dedicated to the publication can be created there," it is stated in the lawsuit. "No one gave anyone the right to turn "Azadlig" newspaper, which was founded by activists of the freedom movement, into the tribune of libelous heroes Ganimat Zahid, Mirza Sakit, and Agil Khalil, and separatists Ruslan Bashirli and Eynulla Fatullayev," the lawsuit goes on.