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Today, 29 June, in the Narimanov District Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Rasim Kazimov, a hearing was held on the special format lawsuit of Yeni Musavat Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Rauf Arifoglu against Khural Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Avaz Zeynalli. The plaintiff’s representative Vagif Huseyn and the defendant Avaz Zeynalli participated in the hearing.
The judge explained the rights of both sides. Avaz Zeynalli said that he did not participate in the preliminary hearing because he was not in Azerbaijan. He objected to the acceptance of the special format lawsuit for consideration without his participation, and added that he was not completely familiar with the case.
The judge asked the defendant questions like, “Was that you who gave the interview in question? Do you affirm that you called Rauf Arifoglu ‘media dishonorable’ in the interview?” Then Avaz Zeynalli objected to the judge stating, “You act like you are Rauf Arifoglu’s attorney.”
The judge scheduled the next hearing on this case for 2 July at 5:30 p.m. so that the defendant can familiarize himself with the case. Avaz Zeynalli emphasized that during the next hearing he will present an objection to the judge to change the content of the court because the special format lawsuit was accepted for consideration without his participation and the judge acted as if he was the plaintiff’s attorney.
He added that he will appeal to the Court Law Council regarding the judge's behaivor.
Rauf Arifoglu claimed that he was insulted in the interview of Khural Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Avaz Zeynalli that was published in Milletim Newspaper on 3 June. In his lawsuit he asked to punish the defendant under articles 147.1 (defamation) and 148 (insult) of the Criminal Code.
Yeni Musavat newspaper has been published since 1992 and operates as a daily newspaper. It has a large circulation.
Khural newspaper has been operating since October 2002 and is published as a weekly newspaper.