Court of Appeal keeps Hafiz Babaly and Elnara Gasymova in custody

Court of Appeal keeps Hafiz Babaly and Elnara Gasymova in custody

The Baku Court of Appeal today heard the appeal of Hafiz Babaly, editor of the economic department of Turan Agency, who was arrested in the "Abzas Media" case.

The complaint was filed against the decision to extend his pre-trial detention for another three months.

During the hearing, the defence pointed to the lack of legal grounds for Babaly's criminal prosecution and detention, lawyer Rasul Jafarov told Turan.

Babaly himself also denied the "smuggling" charges, saying he was being prosecuted for investigative journalism. However, the court rejected the petition.

Note that today, the Court of Appeal also rejected an appeal against the extension of the arrest of journalist Elnara Gasymova.  She also denies the charges as saying she is being persecuted for her journalistic work.

* Hafiz Babaly, editor of the "Economic news" department of Turan agency, was detained on 13 December.  He was charged with "smuggling of foreign currency". By court decision, he was placed in pre-trial detention for three months. Babaly is involved in the "Abzas Media case".

** Elnara Gasymova was detained in the same case on 13 January.

International organisations condemned the arrests of Babaly, Gasymova and 4 other defendants in the case and called for their release.

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