On September 22nd, Shahur District Court announced the verdict on the criminal case launched against IRFS correspondent to Nakhcivan Hakimeldostu Mehdiyev, charged with diverting electricity sources. Judge Huseyn Zulfugarov presided over the hearing.
Mehdiyev reported that 9 of the 11 witnesses invited by public prosecutor declined several statements thathad been inserted into preliminary testimonies on their behalf. In addition, another witness, Ali Gasimov, an administrative representative from Jalilkand village, admitted that he had been biased against Mehdiyev in his preliminary testimony. However, the Judge still issued a 1,000 AZN fine to be paid by Mehdiyev for electricity.
The Journalist believes that the judgment is biased and unfair. He will be taking the case to Appeals Court.
On July 15th, the local authorities cut off power supply of electricity to Mehdiyev’s house under the pretext of its illegal use in the nearby carwash. However, according to Mehdiyev, he paid all the dues for using his electricity and has the supporting documents. According to Mehdiyev, the pressure on him started at the beginning of July after he accompanied the columnist of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Michael Ludwig in his trip to Nakhchivan, despite the attempts by the local authorities to prevent the German journalist from this trip.