Today, 29 December, in the Prison #10, under the chairmanship of the Narimanov District Judge Elshana Valiyeva, a hearing was held on the lawsuit to free "Azadlig" Newspaper satiric/journalist Sakit Zahidov early.
S.Zahidov's defense lawyer Isakhan Ashurov told the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety that the hearing took place in the service room of the Prison Chief. “Hearings on the case were biased,” said Ashurov. “The judge stated that Sakit Zahidov’s lawsuit was not fulfilled because he does not consider himself guilty on the crime he committed.”
I.Ashurov noted that holding the hearing in the prison is unacceptable. Ashurov said that he will file an appeal from the decision, and will appeal to the Court Right Council to punish the judge.
IRFS employees and OSCE Baku Office representatives were not permitted in the hearing to conduct monitoring.
On 23 June 2006 Sakit Zahidov was arrested for possession of narcotic. He has six months left in his prison term.