Director of Opposition 'Azadliq' Newspaper Sentenced to 3 Years, 3 Months

On June 24, the trial of the assistant to the chairman of the opposition Azerbaijani Popular Front Party and financial director of the newspaper 'Azadliq', Faiq Amirov, came to a conclusion in Sabail District Court.

Lawyers of the accused, Fahreddin Mehdiyev and Agil Lajev were able to make closing remarks. 

Mehdiyev called the accusations 'the culmination of lawlessness [in the country]'. He demanded that Faiq Amirov be acquitted. 

Lajev called the entire trial a 'kangaroo court'.

"This is the second such case in the world after Khodorkovsky, when the European Court of Human Rights recognizes the violation of the requirements of Article 18 (limits of the use of restrictions on rights) of the European Convention," Agil Lajev said in his speech.

The verdict was then read out, according to which Faiq Amirov was sentenced to 3 years and 3 months of imprisonment in a correctional facility. In addition, he was fined 39 thousand manat.

The prosecutor had originally asked for 4 years and 6 months. 

Lawyer Mehdiyev told Meydan TV that the defense plans to file an appeal against the court's decision this week. 

Amirov's wife, Lala Amirova, told Meydan TV after the trial that This decision was not a surprise either to me or to Faiq. We did not expect a fair decision. Of course, I'm upset...But I'm proud of Faig. The children are small now, they do not understand much, but I am sure that in the future they will also be proud of their father."

The financial director of Azadliq newspaper and the assistant to the chairman of the Azerbaijani Popular Front Party Faiq Amirov was detained on August 20, 2016 and was then charged with inciting inter-religious strife.

On April 17, 2017, new charges were brought against Faiq Amirov under articles 213.1 (tax evasion) and 308.2 (abuse of official powers) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan. 

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