Today, 2 June, in the Garadag District Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Ismayil Khalilov, a hearing was held on the criminal case opened against the Editor-in-chief of Gundelik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaijan Newspapers, Eynulla Fatullayev.
The judge said that the Azeri translation of the decision adopted by the European Court of Human Rights regarding Eynulla Fatullayev was added to the criminal case.
E.Fatullayev`s lawyer Isakhan Ashurov filed motions to monitor prison #12, to interrogate anonymous people as witnesses who informed leadership of the prison regarding narcotic substance kept by Eynulla Fatullayev, and to have Eynulla Fatullayev`s nail and hair samples examined by doctors chosen fairly.
E.Fatullayev said that Supreme Court Chairman Farhad Abdullayev and the head of Azerbaijan Delegation at PACE Samad Seyidov gave false information to the public that an appeal was sent to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.
Fatullayev appealed to his journalist colleagues to meet with President Ilham Aliyev and Presidential Administration Head Ramiz Mehdiyev, and requested that the journalists determine whether the president is aware of the decision of the ECHR. He added that he will begin a hunger-strike as of today and will continue his hunger-strike until he receives information about the president’s familiarity about the decision.
“The president refers to international law regarding all issues, if he is aware of the decision adopted by the European Court of Human Rights regarding me, the execution of this decision would have been taken seriously,” said Fatullayev.
State Plaintiff Elchin Guliyev expressed his opinion about the motion regarding the interrogation of anonymous witnesses and noted that the ECHR has made a precedent decision, and asked for some time to become familiarized with this decision.
The Judge scheduled the next hearing on this case for 9 June at 11:00 a.m.
The European Court of Human Rights issued a decision regarding the case of imprisoned Editor-in-chief of Gundelik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaijan Newspapers Eynulla Fatullayev. The decision states that the journalist should be released immediately and the Azerbaijani government should pay 27,822 EUR to Fatullayev in compensation.
Eynulla Fatullayev was arrested in the court hall on 20 April 2007 under the decision adopted by the Yasamal District Court on the lawsuit of Refugee/IDP Rights Defense Committee Chairperson Tatyana Chaladze.
After his arrest, a criminal case was opened against Eynulla Fatullayev in the National Security Ministry Chief Investigative Office regarding an article published in Realniy Azerbaijan newspaper, which according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, caused foreign citizens and representatives of international organs safety concerns. He was convicted under articles 214.1 (threatening terror), 283.2.2 (incitement of ethnic/national, social or religious hatred abusing authority) of the Criminal Code and was sentenced to pre-trial detention. Eynulla Fatullayev was then convicted under 213.2.2 (tax evasion).
Eynulla Fatullayev was sentenced to 8.5 years of imprisonment on 30 October 2007 under the decision adopted by the Grave Crimes Court and was fined in the amount of 242 thousand 522 AZN.
On 29 December, 0.223 grams heroin was found on Fatullayev. Eynulla Fatullayev and his lawyer assess this incident as an operation set-up to prevent the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the journalist in the near future. A criminal case was opened against Fatullayev in the Garadag District Investigative Department under article 234.1 of the Criminal Code (Illegal purchase or storage without a purpose of selling of narcotics or psychotropic substances in an amount exceeding necessary limit for personal consumption) and he was transferred to the Baku Investigative Prison #2 on 2 January. The investigation into the case was concluded and it is being considered in the Garadag District Court.
Realniy Azerbaijan has been published as weekly newspaper, and Gundelik Azerbaijan was published as a daily newspaper since 2005. Eynulla Fatullayev established the newspapers and was the editor-in-chief of both publications. The newspapers ceased their activity after the arrest of the editor-in-chief in 2007.