PRELIMINARY HEARING HELD ON LAWSUIT AGAINST “GUNDALIK BAKI” NEWSPAPER

December 4th, 2008
Today, 3 December, in the Yasamal District Court, under the chairmanship of judge Matanat Hajiyeva a preliminary hearing was held on the lawsuit of School #21 Director Farruk Agasiyev against “Gundalik Baki” Newspaper.

Bakhikhan Yusifov represented plaintiff and “Gundalik Baki” Newspaper founder and editor-in-chief Habil Valiyev and assistant editor-in-chief Uzeyir Jafarov represented the newspaper.

The defendants presented document, including power of attorney forms, during the hearing. The judge proposed to hold a closed hearing. The plaintiff agreed to this offer. However, the defendants stated that this was not a hearing of great importance and it should be held open. Despite this, Judge Hajiyeva decided to hold the hearing closed.

Judge Hajiyeva expressed her opinion on the appeal of the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety on filming the hearing and taking pictures. She did not permit this.

This lawsuit stems from an article entitled "5th grader raped," which was published on 7 November 2008 issue # 203 (274) of "Gundalik Baki" Newspaper. It was stated in the article that a fifth grader was raped in school #21 and the school leadership concealed this fact.

The next hearing on this case is scheduled to take place on 15 December at 3:00 p.m.