After the public prosecutor read the lawsuit, the judge asked Mushvig Huseynov whether he considers himself guilty or not. Huseynov said he is not guilty. Then Rizvan Aliyev gave testimony as a victim in the hearing. He noted that, “Huseynov first demanded 2,000 USD to delay the article for one day and 5,000 USD to reveal the name of the information source. I didn’t agree to his demand and then the newspaper published systematically three articles about the ministry.” According to Aliyev, then he contacted with Mushvig Huseynov and events unfolded as they are depicted in the video montage run on all of the nation’s TV channels.
The imprisoned journalist’s lawyer Vugar Khasayev asked Aliyev several questions. Khasayev asked Aliyev to clarfiy the conversation that went “What should I do to stop publishing of these articles? I’ll give him 1,000 USD, how much do you want?” which occured between Mushvig Huseynov and him. Aliyev could not clarify this question,and noted that he didn’t remember the conversation completely. The lawyer noted that, as a result of this, it is clear that R.Aliyev offered M. Huseynov money. In response to a question from Khasayev about “who appointed the meeting in “Kurd gapisi” restaurant, R.Aliyev answered that he and Huseynov came to a mutual agreement about this. But in his testimony, Huseynov noted that Aliyev appointed the meeting in the restaurant. The journalist said, “Aliyev called me and said that we could meet at “Kurd gapisi” restaurant becasue he has to go to Lokbatan and would be there in 30 minutes.” During the court hearing contradictions between statement made by Aliyev during the initial investigation and during the interrogation of Mushvig Huseynov were revealed.
During the court hearing M.Huseynov gave testimony for the defense. According to him, one critical article about the ministry was published in “Bizim Yol” newspaper. After the publication of this article, the ministry’s press service chairman E.Kalantarli and another unknown person called Huseynov and offered him money to stop publishing this kind of article and to reveal the source of the information. “Rizvan Aliyev is this type of person. During the meeting with Aliyev, he noted that someone called the minister’s family and reported that articles about the minister’s family would be published. I guaranteed him that no article related to family matters had been published in the newspaper and they never would, however the newspaper would continue to publish critical articles. However Aliyev convinced me that attempts would be made to publish such articles, and that is why he gave me 1,000 USD to give it to the information source. I agreed with him and noted that I’ll give them the money and it will confuse them, I mean the money will make them avoid publishing articles related to family matters. He gave me 2500 USD for mediation. I am a free businessman; I have a registration number and I don’t consider this a criminal act.”
After Huseynov spoke, MNS anti terror department employees Salman Hasanov and Hajiyev Chingiz, Rizvan Aliyev’s assisstent Agacan Ahmadov and the ministry’s press service secretary Elnur Kalantarli gave testimony as witnesses. According to the MNS employees, on July 18 2007 R.Aliyev appealed to MNS anti-terror department and Huseynov’s arrest was carried out by anti-terror department employees who are not responsbile for dealing with bribery crimes.
After that, the judge considered lawyer Vugar Khasayev’s petition which was filed during prelimenary hearing related to interrogating Bahaddin Haziyev as a witness. After short consultations, the judge decided not to fulfill the petition.
The next hearing on this case is scheduled for 17 January at 15:00.