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Baku Court of Appeal, chaired by judge Jamal Ramazanov, held a preliminary hearing on the appeal of poet Saday Shakarli. Saday Shakarli was arrested on December 23, 2015 and is charged under Article 182.3.2 (extortion of a large amount of property) of the Criminal Code. He is accused of extorting 10,000 AZN by threatening to publish revelatory, discrediting and fictitious articles and to disseminate defamatory information about a senior official of the Ministry of Taxes on the mass media. Saday Shakarli was sentenced to 10 years in jail by Baku Serious Crimes Court’s judgment of May 16, 2016.
At the hearing, lawyer Fakhraddin Mehdiyev presented Saday Shakarli’s written request to the court, which stated that the poet was in a critical condition and would not be able to attend the court hearing due to his health and asked that the case be heard in his absence.
Thereafter, the presiding judge announced the decision of the preliminary hearing, according to which none of the lawyers’ motions were granted. Saday Shakarli’s lawyers had filed the motions at the previous hearing, requesting that the appeal be heard through a partial retrial, the criminal case be discontinued and Saday Shakarli’s pretrial detention be replaced with house arrest.
The presiding judge set down the case for hearing and set the hearing date for July 20, 11.00am.