On 5 February, in the Nasimi District Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Ikram Shirinov, a preliminary hearing was held on the lawsuit of Tezadlar Newspaper Editor-in-chief Asif Merzili against Press Council Chairman Aflatun Amashov
The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) was told this by Tezadlar Newspaper Editor-in-chief Asif Merzili.
“No representative on behalf of the defendant took part in the hearing,” said Merzili. “The judge called Press Council Chairman Aflatun Amashov and decided to hold the hearing without participation of the defendant and scheduled the next hearing for 19 February, at 3:00 p.m.”
The lawsuit stems from expressions damaging to the business image of the newspaper that the Press Council Chairman used by calling the newspaper a “racketeering” publication in the media and electronic media without discussing the decision of the Appeal Commission (16 September, 2009) in the meeting of the Administrative Board, without a court decision, or an expert opinion. The lawsuit seeks an apology and refutation in the media, and 50 000 AZN compensation for moral damages.