HEARING CONDUCTED ON LAWSUIT AGAINST “AZADLIG” NEWSPAPER

July 25th, 2008
Today a court hearing on the lawsuit of "Azadlig Harakatchilari" Union against "Azadlig" Newspaper was held under the chairmanship of Judge Elchin Gurbanov in the Yasamal District Court.

The judge first asked both sides whether they had any motion, but they didn’t. Then the plaintiff, “Azadlig Harakatchilari” Union Chairman Tahmasib Novruzov, spoke. He said that his lawsuit was substantiated and “Azadlig” Newspaper should be taken out of the hands of the current staff. According to Novruzov, the newspaper’s work during the last years torments him and other movement members. He can’t take any more of this suffering, and thus has sued the newspaper. Novruzov also claims that he was one of the founders of both APF (Azerbaijan Popular front) and “Azadlig” Newspaper.
After this, the defense —  “Azadlig” Newspaper Director Azer Ahmadov and the newspaper’s defense lawyer Elchin Sadigov asked Novruzov questions.
Ahmadov asked questions about the creation of “Azadlig” Newspaper, history of names considered for the newspaper, activity of the newspaper since its first day up til now (who were editor-in-chiefs, in which printing houses it was printed), the newspaper’s achievements, and so on. However, Novruzov couldn’t answer any single question. Then Ahmadov stated that a person claiming to have been the founder of the newspaper should have known the answers to these questions.
Sadigov asked Novruzov if he was an APF founder. Novruzov said he was. The lawyer asked him “with what document he could prove this.” Novruzov was unable to present to the judge any document after he searched his file folder for several minutes. Then he verbally said that his name was indicated as the founder in the first edition of “Azadlig” Newspaper. Novruzov emphasized that a document stating that he is the founder of APF will be submitted during next hearing.
In response to this, Sadigov introduced to the judge and the opposite side a document showing that T.Novruzov is not the founder of APF, but was the member of APF Agdam Assembly. Then the judge said he didn’t have any questions.
The judge said he wasn’t feeling well and it was decided to postpone the hearing. The next hearing is scheduled to take place on 1 August at 2:30 pm.

*During last hearing the judge, taking into consideration the objection of the plaintiff’s side, approved a decision to ban photography and filming during the hearing. Today Novruzov stated, before starting to speak, that he doesn’t object to photographing and video-recording, and asked the judge to consider this. The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety will appeal to the judge to photograph and film future hearings.