Victims testify against Avaz Zeynalli

Today the Baku Grave Crimes Court heard witness testimonies in the case of the Khural newspaper editor-in-chief Avaz Zeynalli. Zeynalli has been charged under Article 311.3.3 (taking a large bribe) and Article 311.3.4 (extortion). 

Vugar Safarli, the executive director of the State Support Fund for Mass Media, testified first, stating that he had appealed to the court regarding slanderous information published by Khural newspaper which was damaging to his reputation. He said that Zeynalli has failed to execute the court decision, which required the newspaper to issue a retraction and pay Safarli 5000 AZN in compensation.

Zeynalli stated that he had repeatedly appealed to Vugar Safarli through his lawyer in order to seek and publish his view, but received no response. As for the compensation, Zeynalli said that he has not actually been requested to pay the amount, despite the official ruling.

The next victim, Nushaba Alasgarli, testified that she received a phone call in 2007 from Khural correspondent, who attempted to blackmail her by threatening to publish half-naked photos of her. She added that she was insulted for several times in the newspaper.

In response, Avaz Zeynalli advised Alasgarli to appeal to the relevant bodies in order to find out who had phoned and threatened her back in 2007. Zeynalli also read out the article about Nushaba Alasgarli to the courtroom, claiming that the insults she identified do not refer to her.

During the course of the trial, there was a brief quarrel between Nushaba Alasgarli and other attendees.     

The proceedings will continue on June 27th at 2:00pm with further witness testimonies.

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