On July 9th Baku Administrative-Economic Court #2 under judge Miminat Hajibeyova held a hearing on the lawsuit brought by the Ministry of Taxes and the Tax Audit Department under the Ministry of Taxes against Khural newspaper editor-in-chief Avaz Zeynalli.
Editor’s wife Malahat Zeynalli reported to the IRFS that the tax inspection into the activities of Khural newspaper carried out on February 22nd 2012 was declared invalid by judge Miminat Hajibeyova. Under this ruling, the tax evasion charge against Avaz Zeynalli was withdrawn.
On February 22nd 2012 the Ministry of Taxes and the Tax Audit Department under the Ministry of Taxes launched a mobile tax inspection into the activities of Khural newspaper and a 3,625 AZN fine has been imposed based on the Tax Audit Departments findings that 7,251 AZN in taxes were not paid.
Zeynalli was arrested following a lawsuit brought by MP Gular Ahmadova on October 28th. A criminal case has been launched against him under Article 311.3.3 (taking a large bribe) and Article 311.3.4 (extortion). Later he faced other charges for contempt of court (Article 306) and tax evasion (Article 213.1). Local and international human rights organizations believe that Zeynalli was arrested for his articles criticizing high-ranking officials.