On 20 February, lawyer Elchin Sadigov visited Gundelik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaijan newspapers’ editor-in-chief Eynulla Fatullayev in the Baku Investigative Prison. The Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety was told this by Elchin Sadigov.
E.Sadigov added that although they filed a motion repeatedly, they were not able to receive examination results specifying whether or not Eynulla Fatullayev is a drug user.
The lawyer emphasized that information disseminated by the Baku City Prosecutor’s Office regarding E.Fatullayev does not conform to reality and they will appeal to court regarding this issue.
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 a quantity (amount) exceeding necessary for personal consumption) and he was transferred to the Baku Investigative Prison #2 on 2 January.
Eynulla Fatullayev was sentenced to 2.5 years of imprisonment on 21 April 2007 for insulting honor and dignity. Later he was convicted under articles 214.1 (threatening terror), 283.2.2 (incitement of ethnic/national, social or religious hatred abusing authority), and 213.2.2 (tax evasion) of the Criminal Code and was sentenced to 8.5 years of imprisonment on 30 October 2007. Prior to the new charge against him, Fatullayev was serving his sentence in prison #12.
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.