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Tolishi Sado newspaper chief editor Hilal Mammadov chose to keep his mouth and ears shut during the February 6th hearing on his case, to protest against closed trial, journalist’s lawyer Ramiz Mammadov reported to the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS). Judge Azer Orujov presided over the hearing.
According to the lawyer, in protest to the closed hearing, Hilal Mammadov put cotton into his ears, wore a gauze mask and turned his face towards wall, without responding to the questions from the jury. According to Ramiz Mammadov, he filed a petition with the court asking to allow him to talk to Hilal Mammadov in order to discuss the situation and decide what their position would be. The petition was granted and the next hearing was scheduled for February 13th, 10:30am.
Note that in the previous hearing the court decided that the first part of the next hearing relating to the criminal charges under Articles 274 (treason) and 283 (inciting national, racial, social and religious hatred, hostility and ethnic discrimination) would be held closed, while the second part focused on drug-related charges (Article 234.4.3 of the Criminal Code) would be open to the public. In response, Mammadov urged his lawyers not to attend the hearing.