Lawyers stunned after the lead plaintiff in Zeynalli case pulls out

January 15th, 2013

In the recent interview with Bizim Yol newspaper on January 11[1], former MP Guler Ahmadova denied the claims that Khural newspaper chief editor Avaz Zeynalli was arrested after her complaint. According to Ahmedova, she is only a witness in this case, not a plaintiff. Meantime, Avaz Zeynalli’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov denied Ahmadova’s statement in an interview [2]with the same newspaper. According to Sadigov, Zeynalli was arrested exactly after the claim filed by Ahmadova on October 19, 2011.

Background: Avaz Zeynalli, was arrested on October 28, 2011 following a lawsuit brought by MP Gular Ahmadova on October 19, 2011. The Anti-Corruption Office launched a criminal case against Zeynalli under article 311.3.3 (taking a large bribe) and article 311.3.4 (extortion). Later he was charged under article 306 (contempt of court) and article 213.1 (tax evasion). A large number of local and international human rights organizations strongly believe that the charges against Avaz Zeynalli are trumped-up and that he was arrested for his articles criticizing high-ranking state officials.