Today, the Nasimi District Court held a preliminary trial on the criminal case launched against the Azerbaijani National Sattehood Chairman Nemat Panahli and his friend Jeyhun Farzaliyev. Judge Elman Ahmadov chaired the hearing.
Panahli’s attorney Samir Isayev, Farzullayev’s attorney Elchin Aliyev and public prosecutor Asad Ramazanov were in attendance.
Isayev filed a motion requiring the annulment of the pre-trial detention of Nemat Panahli, permission for journalists to film the hearing, and consideration of the fact that his defendant is a socio-political figure. The public prosecutor Ramazanov requested the court to dismiss the motion.
After deliberation, Judge decided to reject the motions. Citing it was a preliminary hearing, he announced that the motion regarding the permission for journalists will be considered in the next hearing. He scheduled the next hearing to May 3, 2011.
The journalists that wanted to watch the hearing were told that the hearing was not open to public and were expelled from the building.
Nemat Panahli, the Chairman of the Azerbaijan National Statehood Party, was arrested under charges brought by citizen Eldar Rzayev. A criminal case has been brought against both men under Article 221.3 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism committed with a weapon). If he is found guilty, Panahli could face 5 years in prison.
Panahli’s supporters claim that the real reason behind his arrest is his journalistic activity. He wrote a number of articles criticizing the government, published in various press outlets, including the Nota PS.