Today, 16 June, in the Garadag District Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Ismayil Khalilov, a hearing was held on the criminal case opened against the Editor-in-chief of Gundelik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaijan Newspapers, Eynulla Fatullayev.
The judge gave information regarding the monitoring they conducted in prison #12 with the participation of the sides before the hearing.
E.Fatullayev submitted an article that was published on mediaforum.az site on 20 December, 2009, regarding a provocation prepared against Fatullayev, and articles covering the opinions of Milli Mejlis chairman Ogtay Asadov and Milli Mejlis Human Rights Committee Head Rebiyyet Aslanova to add to the criminal case.
Fatullayev then delivered a speech regarding the accounts given of the preliminary investigation. Fatullayev noted that a narcotic provocation that took place in prison was implemented by the National Security Ministry and emphasized that he came to this conclusion after he talked with NSM officer Akif Chovdarov.
“Akif Chovdarov, who met with me said that the decision of the ECHR will not be fulfilled and I will remain in prison until the end before the European Court of Human Rights adopts this decision,” noted Fatullayev.
E.Fatullayev said that the reason of his imprisonment was his investigation into the murder of Elmar Huseynov, editor-in-chief of Monitor Journal; and his meeting with Tahir Khubanov and Teymuraz Aliyev in Tbilisi, who are suspected in the murder of Elmar Huseynov and information he gave to the community about it.
Attorney Isakhan Ashurov said that he considers Fatullayev`s arrest and conduction of search on him in prison #12 unfounded. He recalled the decision of the European Court of Human Rights regarding his previous arrest and added that there is basis to annul the present criminal case.
“State Plaintiff can find on the grounds of an illegal investigation conducted on Fatullayev without the decision of court to refuse prosecution,” said the lawyer.
Prosecutor Elchin Nagiyev said that he respects the decision of the European Court of Human Rights and added that this will be executed. However, he added that present criminal case is a different issue.
The Judge said that court investigation is concluded and scheduled the next hearing for 23 June at 11:00 a.m. for closing remarks.
The European Court of Human Rights issued a decision regarding the case of imprisoned Editor-in-chief of Gundelik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaijan Newspapers Eynulla Fatullayev. The decision states that the journalist should be released immediately and the Azerbaijani government should pay 27,822 EUR to Fatullayev in compensation.
Eynulla Fatullayev was arrested in the court hall on 20 April 2007 under the decision adopted by the Yasamal District Court on the lawsuit of Refugee/IDP Rights Defense Committee Chairperson Tatyana Chaladze.
After his arrest, a criminal case was opened against Eynulla Fatullayev in the National Security Ministry Chief Investigative Office regarding an article published in Realniy Azerbaijan newspaper, which according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, caused foreign citizens and representatives of international organs safety concerns. He was convicted under articles 214.1 (threatening terror), 283.2.2 (incitement of ethnic/national, social or religious hatred abusing authority) of the Criminal Code and was sentenced to pre-trial detention. Eynulla Fatullayev was then convicted under 213.2.2 (tax evasion).
Eynulla Fatullayev was sentenced to 8.5 years of imprisonment on 30 October 2007 under the decision adopted by the Grave Crimes Court and was fined in the amount of 242 thousand 522 AZN.
On 29 December, 0.223 grams heroin was found on Fatullayev. Eynulla Fatullayev and his lawyer assess this incident as an operation set-up to prevent the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the journalist in the near future. A criminal case was opened against Fatullayev in the Garadag District Investigative Department under article 234.1 of the Criminal Code (Illegal purchase or storage without a purpose of selling of narcotics or psychotropic substances in an amount exceeding necessary limit for personal consumption) and he was transferred to the Baku Investigative Prison #2 on 2 January. The investigation into the case was concluded and it is being considered in the Garadag District Court.
Realniy Azerbaijan has been published as weekly newspaper, and Gundelik Azerbaijan was published as a daily newspaper since 2005. Eynulla Fatullayev established the newspapers and was the editor-in-chief of both publications. The newspapers ceased their activity after the arrest of the editor-in-chief in 2007.