“Nota” Newspaper Head Advisor Faramaz Novruzoglu has been sued by “Adalat” Party Chairman, Azerbaijan Milli Mejlis Member (parliamentarian) Ilyas Ismayilov under articles 147 and 148 of the Criminal Code in the form of special lawsuit.

Novruzoglu told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety that the lawsuit stems from the article “Russia rejects Ilyas Ismayilov” (“Rusiya İlyas İsmayılovun üstündən xətt çəkib”) published in “24 Saat” Newspaper on 28 May 2008 (In the article Ismayilov is accused of having relations with separatists and being a politician working under orders of Russia). However, the journalist claims that this article does not belong to him and he was not working at the newspaper when the article was published. “Whenever I publish an article in any newspaper I confirm it with my signature. I did not write this article and did not give it to the newspaper. And there is no evidence to prove this. Besides, ‘24 Saat’ Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Ilham Tumas participated in court hearings and apologized to the opposite side.”

According to Novruzoglu, court hearings have been conducted on this case for two months in the Binagadi District Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Maarif Kazimov. Novruzoglu learned about these from reports in newspapers. He was not sent any statement or invitation by the court.

Novruzoglu thinks that a high-ranked law enforcement organ employee stands behind this case. “The National Security Ministry Department to Fight against Terrorism, concretely deputy minister Hilal Asadov stands behind this case,” he said. “For a while now that my series of articles under the title ‘Azerbaijan on the table of wolves’ are published in ‘Nota’ Newspaper. I have been warned repeatedly to stop these articles. And I was threatened that I would be arrested after the presidential elections. This lawsuit was submitted to the court on 16 October, 2008 – one day after the elections.”

Tomorrow (16 December) at 4:00 pm, a hearing will be conducted on this case in the Binagadi District Court, under the chairmanship of Judge M. Kazimov.

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