Today, 9 April, in the Garadag District Court, under the chairmanship of the Judge Ismayil Khalilov, a preliminary hearing was conducted on the criminal case opened against imprisoned Editor-in-chief of Gundalik Azerbaijan and Realniy Azerbaijan Newspapers Eynulla Fatullayev under article 234.1 of the Criminal Code.
Eynulla Fatullayev, his lawyers Isakhan Ashurov, Rashid Hajili, Elchin Sadigov, and Plaintiff Elchin Nagiyev took part in the preliminary hearing.
Eynulla Fatullayev expressed his objection to the content of judges in the preliminary hearing. He said that it is interesting that the judge who is considering this case also issued a decision to transfer him to the Baku Investigative Prison. This objection, however, was not accepted.
The Judge partially fulfilled the appeal of the Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety by allowing photography and video recording for 10 minutes.
The lawsuit of Eynulla Fatullayev`s lawyer Isakhan Ashurov for the recording of all hearings by the Court itself was not fulfilled.
Eynulla Fatullayev filed a motion, requesting his case not be accepted for consideration because his right to not conduct an alternative examination was not fulfilled, and he demanded that people possessing expertise participate in the court.
The Judge partially fulfilled his motion, and said that experts who are able to give an opinion about neurology will be questioned in the court.
The second motion, to call five prisoners to court as witness who had a connection with Fatullayev from prison #12, was partially fulfilled.
The Judge allowed the interrogation of prisoner Anar Namazov. Break was then announced in the hearing.
After the break, Eynulla Fatullayev made a speech for another motion. His motion to not accept the criminal case for consideration and have it returned to the prosecutor-office and to investigate it by a new investigation group was not fulfilled.
The Judge scheduled the next hearing on this case for 26 April, at 11:00 a.m.
Eynulla Fatullayev was sentenced to 2.5 years of imprisonment on 21 April 2007 for insulting honor and dignity. Later he was convicted under articles 214.1 (threatening terror), 283.2.2 (incitement of ethnic/national, social or religious hatred abusing authority), and 213.2.2 (tax evasion) of the Criminal Code and was sentenced to 8.5 years of imprisonment on 30 October 2007. Prior to the new charge against him, Fatullayev was serving his sentence in prison #12. On 29 December, 0.223 grams heroin was found on Fatullayev. Eynulla Fatullayev and his lawyer assess this incident as an operation set-up to prevent the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the journalist in the near future. A criminal case was opened against Fatullayev in the Garadag District Investigative Department under article 234.1 of the Criminal Code (Illegal purchase or storage without a purpose of selling of narcotics or psychotropic substances in an amount exceeding necessary limit for personal consumption) and he was transferred to the Baku Investigative Prison #2 on 2 January.
Realniy Azerbaijan has been published as weekly newspaper, and Gundelik Azerbaijan was published as a daily newspaper since 2005. Eynulla Fatullayev established the newspapers and was the editor-in-chief of both publications. The newspapers ceased their activity after the arrest of the editor-in-chief in 2007.