PRELIMINARY HEARING CONDUCTED ON ANS’ LAWSUIT AGAINST NEWSPAPER

January 30th, 2008
Today in the Nasimi District Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Mammed Mammedov, the preliminary hearing on ANS Broadcasting Company’s lawsuit against “Azadlig Fadaleri” Newspaper was conducted.

ANS was represented by Tofig Hajiyev and Araz Tagiyev, while “Azadlig Fadaleri” Chief Editor Vugar Gurdganli participated on behalf of the newspaper.
After opening the hearing, Judge Mammedov inquired whether Nebi Allahverdi, the correspondent from “Azadlig Fadaleri” Newspaper who wrote the article that prompted ANS’ lawsuit, was present.  Gurdganli told the judge that Allahverdi sends his article to the newspaper via the internet. Then Tagiyev said that if Allahverdi is the author of the author he must be brought to the court. At that point, prosecution Hajiyev introduced to the court an assessment adopted by the Press Council. According to the document dated 19 December 2007 the Press Council determined that libelous and insulting information about ANS was published in “Azadlig Faderleri” Newspaper.
After this, Gurdganli introduced a petition calling for the court not to take into consideration the Press Council’s assessment because his newspaper is not a member of the Press Council. However Hajiyev said, “The Press Council is an organ approved by the Justice Ministry that has the right to monitor all newspapers. I ask the court to review the content.” After this, V. Gurdganli called for a truce, and expressed his willingness to publish a refutation. Then the judge announced a recess until 5 p.m. today.
When the court reconvened, Judge Mammedov announced that Gurdganli’s petition would not be fulfilled. Then a lawyer for ANS told the court, “Even after we filed our complaint this newspaper published material about ANS. I am introducing a petition for the court to take this into consideration.” Judge Mammedov fulfilled this petition, and scheduled the next hearing on this case for 8 February at 4 p.m.  
Recall that, ANS filed a lawsuit against "Azadlig Fedaileri" Newspaper and correspondent Nebi Allahverdi, due to an article that was run in the 28 November-01 December 2007 edition of the newspaper. According to ANS' legal representation, the article, entitled "The pornography of ANS," with the subtitle "ANS is in everywhere-impoliteness," doesn't correspond to the truth, and involves false, humiliating and insulting information. ANS is seeking to have a refutation published, and also wants a 50,000 AZN fine instituted against Allahverdi and a 10,000 AZN a fine instituted against "Azadlig Fedaileri."