Journalist Khadija Ismayil Released on Parole

May 25th, 2016

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Supreme Court, chaired by judge Ali Seyfaliyev, held a hearing on journalist Khadija Ismayil’s cassational complaint. The court ordered a conditional release of Khadija Ismayil.
Khadija Ismayil was arrested on 5 December 2014. She was initially charged under article 125 of the Criminal Code (inciting to suicide). Later, she faced new charges under articles 179 (misappropriation), 192.2 (illegal entrepreneurship), 213.2 (tax evasion) and 308.2 (abuse of authority). On September 1, the court acquitted Khadija Ismayil of the charge filed under Article 125 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan Republic (inciting to suicide). However, the court found Khadija Ismayil guilty under Articles 179.3.2 (misappropriation and waste on a large scale), 192.2.2 (illegal entrepreneurship), 213.1 (tax evasion) and 308.2 (abuse of authority) and sentenced her to 7.5 years in jail and a 3-year ban from holding some public position or engaging in some public activities. The appellate court upheld her sentence on November 25, 2015.
Although Khadija Ismayil had applied to the court for her participation in today’s hearing, the court did not grant her request, and the proceedings took place without Khadija Ismayil’s participation.
At the hearing, the journalist’s lawyers Fariz Namazli, Fakhraddin Mehdiyev and Javad Javadov made speeches. They told the court that Khadija Ismayil had not committed any crime and the real reason behind the charges was to separate Khadija Ismayil from her journalistic activities. The lawyers asked for Khadija Ismayil’s acquittal.
The court dropped the charges under Articles 179.3.2 (misappropriation, in a large amount) and 308.2 (abuse of authority) of Criminal Code against Khadija Ismayil, but sentenced her to 3.5 years in jail and a 2-year ban from holding certain positions under Articles 192.2.2 (illegal entrepreneurship) and 213.1 (tax evasion) of Criminal Code. The court then decided to release Khadija Ismayil on parole, with the probation period being 5 years.
Khadija Ismayil will have to go to Binagadi District Police Department and sign relevant documents on a monthly basis.
Khadija Ismayil cannot leave the country or change her place of residence for 5 years without the permission of state authorities.