SENTENCING OF GANIMAT ZAHID POSTPONED INDEFINITELY

March 6th, 2008
Today in the Yasamal District Court a hearing on "Azadlig" Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Ganimat Zahid's case was conducted under the chairmanship of Judge Sudaba Mammadova.

The hearing opened with a speech from Zahid's lawyers. Defense lawyer Alaif Hasanov stated that Zahid's arrest was a set-up in retribution for the chief editor’s journalistic activities. Hasanov said, "G. Zahid predicted his arrest and talked about it in the press prior to his arrest. The chief editors of other wide circulated Azerbaijani newspaper "Gundalik Azerbaijan" and "Yeni Musavat," Eynulla Fatullayev and Rauf Arifoglu, also predicted their arrest in the past and talked about it in the press."
 
Defense lawyer Elchin Sadigov stressed that Vusal Hasanov previously participated in operation to arrest "Yeni Khabar" Newspaper Editor-in-chief too. He went on to say, "Both V. Hasanov and G. Zahid sit here as defendants. When the State plaintiff asked for two years imprisonment for V. Hasanov, he didn't defend himself but tried to fulfill the task to the end. This person dedicated himself to the freedom of this country and was the victim of such a cheap operation; a campaign against this family is conducted on the governmental level."   
Later Ganimat Zahid made his final speech. He compared himself to people who have historically been persecuted due to their views and beliefs. He said he is not guilty. "I consider myself clean and innocent in these cheap games," he said.
 
V. Hasanov talked about the accomplishments he achieved for the government, "Taking these into consideration, I want to ask the judge to give me suspended sentence or probation.
 
After all the speeches were made, Judge Mammadova declared that the Court was leaving for deliberations, however didn't mention when the verdict will be adopted.