MAHAL ISMAYILOGLU TO BE SENTENCED TOMORROW

June 30th, 2009
Today, 30 June, in the Absheron District Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Shemseddin Abbasov, a hearing took place on the case under article 127 (intentional infliction of minor severe bodily harm), 128 (intentional infliction of minor bodily harm) and 221.3 (hooliganism with use of a weapon or weapon-like item) of the Criminal Code against "Yeni Musavat" Newspaper columnist and former Editor-in-Chief of “Khalg” Newspaper Mahal Ismayiloglu.

Defendant M. Ismayiloglu, his lawyer Elchin Sadigov, alleged victim Najiba Safarova, her lawyer Novruz Aliyev and prosecutor Tofig Suleymanoglu participated in the hearing.   
M. Ismayiloglu and his defense lawyers stated in their final speeches that this criminal case is full of prejudice and defamation and the journalist was subjected to harassment due to his professional work. Emphasizing that the investigation into the case was not carried out fairly, the defense side asked the court to throw out the case, to open a criminal case against N.Safarova participating in the hearing as injured party, and to issue a decision for N.Safarova to pay compensation.

Judge S.Abbasov said that the verdict will be announced tomorrow, 1 July.   

On 27 June 2008, M. Ismayiloglu was called to a police department on the basis of a lawsuit filed against him by his neighbor Vahid Imanov, who works in the Ministry of Interior. In the complaint it is alleged that the journalist beat his neighbor's servant for dumping trash in his yard. Therefore a criminal case on Article 221.3 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism with use of a weapon or weapon-like item) was instituted against M. Ismayiloglu.  Ismayiloglu claims that this incident never occurred and his neighbor is angry about articles that Ismayiloglu wrote.