Today, 19 August, in the Sumgayit City Appellate Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Huseyin Nabiyev, a preliminary hearing was held on the appeal of “Yeni Musavat” newspaper column writer, “Khalg” newspaper’s former editor-in-chief Mahal (Sadigov) Ismayiloglu’s appeal against the verdict of the Absheron District.
Defendant M.Ismayiloglu, his lawyer, Media Rights Institute employee Elchin Sadigov, and injured party Najiba Safarova, her lawyer Novruz Aliyev and State Plaintiff Azer Abbasov participated in the hearing.
Lawyer E.Sadiqov filed a motion to invite witnesses that were not interrogated during the first instance court trial and to consider the case via court investigation. Prosecutor A.Abbasov said that there is no need for a court investigation and objected to the motion.
After the deliberation, Judge H.Nabiyev said that a decision was issued to consider the case via court investigation partially and scheduled the next hearing for 1 September at 11:00 a.m. Lawyer E.Sadigov said that they will file a cassation complaint against this decision.
The judge did not permit the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety to film during the hearing.
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’s servant. In the complaint it is alleged that the journalist beat his neighbor's servant for dumping trash in his yard. Therefore a criminal case was instituted against M. Ismayiloglu. On 1 July 2009 the journalist was found guilty under articles 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 and was sentenced to conditional imprisonment for two years. Ismayiloglu claims that this incident never occurred and his neighbor is angry about articles that Ismayiloglu wrote, and the verdict against him is politically motivated.