TRIAL OF JOURNALIST CHARGED WITH DIVERTING ELECTRICITY TO BEGIN NEXT WEEK

August 9th, 2011
The criminal case launched by Sharur District Prosecutor’s Office against IRFS regional correspondent Hakimeldostu Mehdiyev under Article 189-1.1 of the Criminal Code (diverting electricity supplies) will be transferred to court next week, Mehdiyev told IRFS.

Yesterday, he was once again summoned to the Sharur District Prosecutor’s Office to be interviewed by Prosecutor Kamil Shukurov. Shukurov demanded that he bring his international passport, even though its seems irrelevant to the investigation. Therefore, Mehdiyev refused to give them his passport. He believes that the authorities are trying to restrict his ability to travel.
Mehdiyev is accused of illegal use of electricity to the amount of 1050 AZN. He believes that the trumped up case is nothing but a political order aiming to punish him for his human rights defence and journalistic activities.
Pressures against him began in early July, after the visit of “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” correspondent, political commentator Michael Ludwig to Nakhchivan.
On 15 July, local authorities cut off the power supply to the small car-washing station in his driveway. However, according to Mehdiyev, he is completely up to date with his bill payments and has the receipts to prove it.  The Mehdiyevs have been deprived of electric power ever since. Finally, today, the power supply to Mehdiyev’s house was restored.