Editor and His Lawyers Request Adjournment Due to Editor’s Health Problem and Unfamiliarity with Case Materials

➢ Gundalik Baki newspaper editor, defendant Habil Valiyev requested the postponement of the hearing citing a health problem;
➢ The court gave a week to the lawyers for familiarisation with the case materials.

On 15 February, Baku Court of Appeal chaired by Judge Jamal Ramazanov held a hearing on the case of Gundalik Baki newspaper founder and chief editor Habil Valiyev.

Valiyev told the court that he could not speak due to his illness and his lawyers were not acquainted with the case. The lawyers, who are going to defend the arrested chief editor’s rights, also filed a motion for the adjournment of the proceedings. Lawyer Saleh Lalayev asked the court for time to get acquainted with the materials collected in the case file. The judge granted the motion.

The next hearing is scheduled for 22 February.

Background: Habil Valiyev has been sued in a privative prosecution case under Articles 147.1, 147.2 and 148 of the Criminal Code due to alleged libel and insults against Rizvan Vahabov, a member of the Political Council of the ruling party YAP. Yasamal District Court rejected the complaint by Judge Huseyn Safarov’s decision of 23 December 2015. Rizvan Vahabov appealed the decision. On 17 September 2016, Judge Amir Bayramov of Baku Appeal Court dismissed the appeal by refusing to hold a hearing on the private prosecution complaint seeking criminal conviction for Habil Valiyev and declined to accept the complaint for consideration.

Finally, Vahabov filed a cassation appeal with the Supreme Court against the appellate court’s decision. The Supreme Court repealed the decision and referred the case back to Baku Court of Appeal for review.

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