Today, 30 April, in the Garadag District Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Ismayil Khalilov, the hearing was continued on the criminal case opened against Eynulla Fatullayev. The last plaintiff witnesses were the Prison #12 Regime Supervision Department Chief Anar Ahmadov, Deputy Chief on Duty Faig Salmanov, and Chief Supervisor Farman Salmanov.
While answering questions from both sides, A.Ahmadov said that it was possible that Fatullayev’s clothes were left unsupervised at night; however, he does not believe that the drugs were planted on Fatullayev.
Faig Salmanov noted that yellowish folded wrap was found on Fatullayev. Other witnesses claimed that the substance inside the wrap was yellowish. Faig Salmanov, who was on duty from the night of 28 December 2009, said that he did not notice any suspicious actions committed by Fatullayev.
Chief Supervisor Farman Salmanov said that the vest was not completely torn; the employee conducting the search checked the winter vest’s outside only and tore down the spots he was suspicious of. Farman Salmanov’s answer to the judge’s question contradicted his answer he gave to the investigation. When the judge asked Salmanov whether he smelled the drug substance, he said no. The judge told him that in his account of the investigation, Salmanov noted that the drug substance had a specific smell, and asked the witness which of the answers was right. Salmanov hesitated and said that his account in court is correct.
At the end of the hearing, Fatullayev congratulated his colleagues for World Press Freedom Day, which is on 3 March. The next hearing on this case was scheduled for 4 May, at 11:00 a.m.
In addition, Azerbaijan Constitutional Court Chairman Farhad Abdullayev said that Azerbaijan has addressed an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber regarding Eynulla Fatullayev, according to APA.
The European Court of Human Rights issued a decision regarding the case of imprisoned Editor-in-chief of Gundelik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaijan Newspapers Eynulla Fatullayev. The decision states that the journalist should be released immediately and the Azerbaijani government should pay 27,822 EUR to Fatullayev in compensation.
Eynulla Fatullayev was arrested in the court hall on 20 April 2007 under the decision adopted by the Yasamal District Court on the lawsuit of Refugee/IDP Rights Defense Committee Chairperson Tatyana Chaladze.
After his arrest, a criminal case was opened against Eynulla Fatullayev in the National Security Ministry Chief Investigative Office regarding an article published in Realniy Azerbaijan newspaper, which according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, caused foreign citizens and representatives of international organs safety concerns. He was convicted under articles 214.1 (threatening terror), 283.2.2 (incitement of ethnic/national, social or religious hatred abusing authority) of the Criminal Code and was sentenced to pre-trial detention. Eynulla Fatullayev was then convicted under 213.2.2 (tax evasion).
Eynulla Fatullayev was sentenced to 8.5 years of imprisonment on 30 October 2007 under the decision adopted by the Grave Crimes Court and was fined in the amount of 242 thousand 522 AZN.
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 an amount exceeding necessary limit for personal consumption) and he was transferred to the Baku Investigative Prison #2 on 2 January. The investigation into the case was concluded and it is being considered in the Garadag District Court.
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.