Court upholds huge fine on Azadliq newspaper

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On February 14 the Supreme Court, presided over by Judge Tatyana Goldman, denied the cassation appeal filed by the Azadliq newspaper, lawyer Fariz Namazli told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS). According to Namazli, the court upheld the 30,000 AZN fine imposed on the newspaper following a lawsuit brought by Baku City Metro head Tagi Ahmadov.

Background: Tagi Ahmadov, initiated action before the Yasamal District Court against Azadliq newspaper, claiming that his dignity, honour and business reputation had been “insulted” in an article titled “Tagi Ahmadov appropriated five kopecks”, published in the 8 April issue of the newspaper. The article noted that after metro fares were raised to 20 kopecks it became impossible to use five kopeck payments previously loaded onto metro cards. Ahmadov asked the court to require the newspaper to issue a retraction and pay damages of 200,000 AZN (approx. US$255,000). On June 2012, the Yasamal District Court issued a ruling ordering the newspaper to publish a retraction and pay 30,000 AZN to Ahmadov in compensation. On September 13, Baku Appeals Court upheld this decision.

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