Court turns down journalist Faramaz Novruzoglu’s appeal

April 2nd, 2013

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On 2 April the Baku Appeals Court, under judge Qail Mammadov, heard the appeal filed by journalist Faramaz Novruzoglu (Allahveridyev) against 22 August 2012 decision of Nizami District Court.  “The journalist did not cross the state border illegally between November of 2010 and October of 2011. During this period he lived in Baku. On 12 September 2011 he was in the city of Nakhchivan, where he met with a group of human rights activists and journalists and attended the hearing on the case of IRFS employee Hakimeldostu Mehdiyev in Sharur District Court. The photos and videos taken by IRFS on that date can prove it” journalist’s lawyer Fariz Namazli told the judge at the hearing.

Namazli filed a petition with the court requesting to invite lawyer Asabali Mustafayev, IRFS chairman Emin Huseynov, and journalists Idrak Abbasov, Shahvalad Chobanoglu and Afgan Mukhtarli to give evidence as witnesses, as it is obviously seen in the Obyektiv TV video that they are talking to the journalist.

After a quick deliberation the jury denied the petition. Faramaz Novruzoglu objected to this and said he wanted to leave the courtroom.

After a second deliberation, the panel decided to reject the journalist’s appeal and uphold the original ruling.

In his interview with IRFS, lawyer Namazli said the defense is going to file a cassation appeal against this decision.

Background: Faramaz Allahverdiyev was sentenced to 4.5 years in jail under Article 220.2 (Appeals to mass disorders and violence against citizens) and 318.1 (Crossing protected frontiers of the Azerbaijan Republic without established documents or outside of check point of frontier) of the Criminal Code. It is alleged that in 2011 ahead of the March 11 Great People’s Day (a Facebook event) Faramaz Allahverdiyev, under the nickname of Elchin Ilgaroglu, called upon people to riot, promising to burn himself during the action. It is also alleged that he had illegally crossed the Azerbaijani-Turkish border and lived there from November 2010 until October 2011. Besides the prison sentence, Allahverdiyev is required to pay 1,350 AZN fine imposed on him by November 5, 2010 decision of the Narimanov District Court and 70 AZN in compensation for the expenses of forensic medical exam carried out during the last trial.