WITNESSES GIVE CONTRADICTORY ACCOUNTS DURING HEARING AGAINST MAHAL ISMAYILOGLU

June 5th, 2009
Yesterday, 4 June, in the Absheron District Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Shemseddin Abbasov, a hearing was held on the case under article 127 (intentional infliction of minor severe bodily harm) 128 (intentional infliction of minor bodily harm) and 221.3 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism with use of a weapon or weapon-like item) against "Yeni Musavat" Newspaper columnist and former Editor-in-Chief of “Khalg” Newspaper Mahal Ismayiloglu.

M. Ismayiloglu, Ismayiloglu’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov, plaintiff Nasiba Safarova, Safarova’s lawyer Novruz Aliyev, and State Prosecutor Tofig Suleymanoglu participated in the hearing. The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety was told this by Ismayiloglu’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov.
“During yesterday’s hearing taxi driver Tahir Najafov was interrogated as witness,” said E.Sadigov. “Najafov said that the investigator made him sign a blank paper, and he did not confirm his statement he had given to the investigation.”
There were contradictions in the statements of the witnesses, according to Sadigov.
“M.Ismayiloglu put forth a motion to interrogate new witnesses and the judge fulfilled the motion,” added Sadigov.
The next hearing on this case is now scheduled to take place on 11 June at 4:00 p.m.
On 27 June 2008, M. Ismayiloglu was called to a police department on the basis of a lawsuit filed against him by his neighbor Vahid Imanov, who works in the Ministry of Interior. In the complaint it is alleged that the journalist beat his neighbor's servant for dumping trash in his yard. Therefore a criminal case on Article 221.3 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism with use of a weapon or weapon-like item) was instituted against M. Ismayiloglu.  Ismayiloglu claims that this incident never occurred and his neighbor is angry about articles that Ismayiloglu wrote.