January 17th, 2008
Today in the Yasamal District Court, under the chairmanship of the judge Sudaba Mammadova, the trial on the case against “Azadlig” Newspaper Chief Editor Ganimat Zahid was conducted.

Sevgilada Guliyeva gave testimony during the hearing.  

Defense lawyer Elchin Sadigov told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety that, “There are differences between S. Guliyeva’s previous written statement and her testimony is court. In her previous statement, S. Guliyeva said that G. Zahid cursed at her. But in her today’s hearing she noted said that G. Zahid only said that he wanted to get acquainted with her.  

Then policeman Gunduz Hasanov, who is a guard at Azerbaijan Publishing House, was invited into the court room to give testimony. G. Hasanov noted in his testimony that he didn’t witness the event. G. Hasanov only told that G.Zahid approached him and said he had been harassed and his clothing has been torn.  

Then a break was announced. After the break the hearing was scheduled to continue on January 23 at 11 a.m., due to absence of lawyer Osman Kazimov and witnesses.  

Some of the journalists who came to participate in the hearing were not allowed to the courtroom to observe today’s hearing. Court administrators said this was due to a lack of seats in the courtroom. The people who couldn’t participate in the hearing were removed from the court building by court administrators and additional police forces, and the doors to the court building were closed.