Afgan Sadigov, editor-in-chief of the local Azel TV, was detained on 13 May and has now been charged with extortion of a large amount of property by use of threat and intimidation.
The Prosecutor General's Office stated that he is accused together with the editor-in-chief of the internet website xəbərfakt.az, Sakit Muradov.
According to the claim, Sadigov and Muradov met with Sumgayit city executive officials on 9 May, demanded 15,000 AZN and threatened to spread disgraceful information about them on their media platforms. According to the Prosecutor General's Office, both men were detained in the Khatai district of the capital city Baku while picking up 10,000 AZN from the people they had threatened.
"Although Afgan Sadigov refused to testify about his crime, another suspect, Sakit Muradov, fully confessed to what they did", the official statement reads.
While Sadigov was arrested on a warrant, Muradov was taken to the police station.
It is not yet clear whether Sadigov and Muradov are involved in the crime, though it is said the money was taken by Muradov, as it is stated in the indictment.
The detainees and their lawyers have yet to comment.
Afgan Sadigov's wife Sevinj Sadigova said that their house was searched on 13 May and the authorities “found nothing but 30 AZN.” She also said that she was not informed about her spouse.
She does not believe the accusation against her husband is real. If convicted, Sadigov could face up to 10 years in prison.