Today, 29 January, in the Baku Appellate Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Rizvan Safarov, a preliminary hearing was held on the appeal of “Azadlig” Newspaper satiric/journalist Sakit Zahidov. Lawyer Isakhan Ashurov and prosecutor Elgun Gafarov participated in the hearing. I. Ashurov put forth a motion for Prison #14 Chief Arshad Hasanov be brought to the court and interrogated.

This is because one of the basis shown for rejection of S. Zahidov’s appeal to be freed early in the Narimanov District Court is that the journalist violated internal discipline rules in Prison #14.  
It has been repeatedly written in the press that Arshad Hasanov was biased against Sakit Zahidov and therefore, the journalist was transferred to prison #10.  
The judge stated that Ashurov’s motion will be considered during the next hearing and chief of Prison #14 Arshad Hasanov will be interrogated if necessary.

The next hearing was scheduled to take place on 5 February at 2:30 p.m.  

Note that today’s preliminary hearing was scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. However, it began at 11:30 because the prosecutor was late. 

Sakit Zahidov was imprisoned on 23 June 2006 on spurious charges of possession of narcotics, and has five months left in his three-year prison sentence.

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