January 23rd, 2008
Two court decisions have been handed down in the past week against “Khural” Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Avaz Zeynalli.

According to a decision adopted last Thursday, Zeynalli must serve 1.5 years of corrective labor and give 15 percent of his salary on the basis of the lawsuit put forth by “Azerbaijan” Publishing House against “Khural” Newspaper. And according to a decision adopted against Zeynalli yesterday, he must also serve 2 years of corrective labor with 20 percent of his salary on the basis of the lawsuit put forth by Yevlakh region’s head of the executive administration and Yevlakh community.  
The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety has reviewed the legislation on punishment to determine how Zeynalli will fulfill both of these verdicts. According to Article 49 of the criminal code, someone can be ordered by the court to give from five to twenty percent of his/her salary to the state for a period of two months up to two years. And in Article 67 (appointment of punishment over verdict sum) it is noted that the term or volume of a sentence and not related to imprisonment concrete decisions over verdict sum can’t be higher than the level appointed for the same punishment in the general part. It practical terms, Zeynalli cannot be serve a corrective labor sentence for longer than two years and cannot be forced to give anymore that 20 percent of his salary to the state, thus the punishment from the two verdicts adopted against him will be combined.  
IRFS spoke via telephone with Avaz Zeynalli about this matter. The editor-in-chief noted that, the decisions adopted against him have been joined, and according to the last decision he must serve 2 years of corrective pay 20 percent of his salary to the state. Zeynalli also added, “I have to pay a 6,000 AZN fine and the author of the article (ed. about Yevlakh) Vugar Gurdganli has to pay 4,000 AZN in addition to carrying out the corrective labor.” According to Zeynalli, they’ll now file an appellate complaint against this decision.