Jailed journalist Elchin Ismayilli’s case has been referred to court. According to the journalist’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov, the charges against his client have been toughened. “At the conclusion of the criminal investigation, he was incriminated under 3 articles of the Criminal Code. Ismayilli is charged under Articles 182 (extortion), 308 (abuse of official powers) and 311 (bribery) of the Criminal Code. These charges carry 8 to 12 years of prison sentence,” the lawyer noted.
Elchin Ismayilli’s case has been submitted to Shaki Serious Crimes Court for consideration. However, the trial date has not been announced so far.
Based in Ismayilli region, freelance journalist Elchin Ismayilli was detained on 17 February. On 18 February, Nasimi District Court ordered his pre-trial detention for 24 days. Later, his detention term was further extended several times.
According to the lawyer, the criminal case materials accuse the journalist of extorting money from an employee of Ismayilli regional culture and tourism department. It is claimed that his alleged victim formally appealed to the State Security Service and Elchin Ismayilli was arrested on the basis of extortion allegations. The lawyer quoted the journalist as calling his case trumped-up and associating his arrest with his journalistic activities. “Elchin Ismayilli says the case is fabricated. He has known the complainant since 2003 and had been on good terms with him. A month ago, Elchin approached him for a loan in the amount of 1,000 AZN. Two days ago, he called Elchin and said that he could ‘come and pick up the money’. They met, but Elcin Ismayill was arrested when receiving the money,” the lawyer said.