June 5th, 2008

Today (June 5), in the Yasamal District Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Khagani Tagiyev a hearing was conducted on Apartment Exploitation Military Unit of the Defense Ministry soldier Mursalov Fardi Teyyub oglu's lawsuit against "Gundalik Baki” Newspaper.

“Gundalik Baki” Newspaper representative Uzeyir Jafarov told the court that the newspaper offered to let F. Murselov’s father and representative Teyyub Murselov express their views in the publication. However they did not agree to this. U. Jafarov once again recommended that the plaintiffs present their views to “Gundalik Baki,” and promised that they would be published.

U. Jafarov also noted that the last hearing was reported on by the newspaper and presented a copy of that newspaper to the plaintiffs. F. Murselova’s lawyer Shargiya Nagiyeva expressed her protest against this, and noted that the defense was not invited to the court as journalists.

T. Murselov addressed the court, and said that the newspaper published untrue information about his son. “It is written in the articles that Ferdi Murselov was registered in Baku’s Nizami District and then later registered in the Imishli Region on Azerbaijan so he could do his military service in Baku,” said Murselov. “However I proved with documents that Ferdi Murselov was born in Imishli and graduated from high school there.”

Jafarov responded to this saying that the newspaper wrote nothing untrue and has evidence of its own and even witnesses. Jafarov also put forth a motion for F. Murselov himself to be brought to court.  But the judge did not fulfill this motion. Then Judge Tagiyev announced that the next hearing on this case will take place on 8 April at noon.

This lawsuit stems from the article "Mehman Hajiyev's Illegal Actions" in which libellious information was allegedly published about F.Mursalov. According to the lawsuit, F.Mursalov and his parents were concerned after reading this article and decided to take this step. Mursalov is seeking the pulibcation of a refutation and the institution of a 50,000 AZN fine. "Gundalik Baki" newspaper chief editor Adil Huseynli told the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety, and that there's nothing libelous and defamatory in the article.