Five and half year prison sentence requested for arrested journalist

November 7th, 2013

Serdar Elibelyli 01

On November 4th Khatai district court held a hearing on the case of Nota Bene newspaper editor Serdar Alibayli, who is accused of hooliganism using cold weapons.

The defendant and his lawyer filed a motion for interrogation of experts, who have given opinion in the case, and a new forensic examination.

In response, the public prosecutor called the initial examination flawless, while the plaintiff’s representative said a new examination would be non-objective, as a long time has passed since the incident. The motions were denied.  

The public prosecutor then requested five and half year prison sentence for the journalist, saying that he was proven guilty.

The next hearing was scheduled for November 12.

Background: Serdar Alibayli was detained on July 31 and taken to Khatai District Police Office #37, where he was given a 48-hour remand. Alibayli is charged under Article 221.3 of the Criminal Code (the hooliganism committed with application of a weapon or subjects, used as the weapon) which carries a maximum seven years in prison.

The journalist was sentenced to two-month pretrial detention on August 2. The decision was upheld by the Appellate Court on August 12. Alibayli is currently held in the Baku detention centre.

The journalist doesn’t agree with the accusation and considers it false. He sees the critical articles he has recently written as the real reason behind his arrest.