CRIMINAL CHARGE AGAINST JOURNALIST PROVED FALSE BY TESTIMONIES OF WITNESSES

September 14th, 2011
On August 12, 2011, Shahur District Court held a court hearing on the criminal case launched against IRFS  correspondent to Nakhcivan Hakimeldostu Mehdiyev  under the charge of diverting electricity. Judge Huseyn Zulfugarov presided over the hearing.

A group of representatives from influential media outlets, well-known human rights defenders and journalists from Baku,  were attending the hearing.
The court did not allow filming, photography or reporting at the hearing. The objection of human rights defenders and journalists proved unsuccessful. The defendant side’s lawyer Asabali Mustafayev was not allowed to take into the courtroom his bag of documents concerning the court proceedings.
The defendant side filed 3 motions as soon as the trial kicked off. The motion requesting to add additional evidences to the materials of the criminal case was granted. The motion requesting to question additional witnesses was not considered.  Another motion on violation of right for defence was not fulfilled.
Then came tetimonies of witnesses invited by public prosecutor. The interrogation of witnesses revealed that the charge brought against Mehdiyev is false and set up.
Witness Islam Ismayilov, sales manager at Sharur District Electricity Office, admitted in his testimony that based on the request of Mehdiyev, he gave him a 2-phase power meter in July, 2010, and a 3-phase power meter in July, 2011 to install in his house. The indictment against Mehdiyev claims that Mehdiyev illegally installed power meter in his house and connected with power system.
The witness failed to answer the question why the alleged illegal electric lines were not revealed in past 14 monts, whereas the employees of his office visited Mehdiyev’s house and received payment for electricity every day in the past 14 months.
After that, head engineer at Sharur District Electricity Office and deputy chief of the office Sujaddin Seyidov, Sharur District Jalilkand Municipality Head Nusrat Ramazanov were questioned as witnesses.
The next trial will be held on September 23, at 11am.