Court Delays Decision on Zahidov Case

On January 18 the court postponed the announcement of a verdict on the appeal of the relatives of a political emigrant, opposition journalist Ganimat Zahid, Rovshan and Rufat Zahidov, for a month. This decision was made by a judge of the Sumgait Court of Appeal Huseyn Nabiyev.

Rovshan Zahidov and Rufat Zahidov (cousin and nephew of Ganimat Zahid) ask to justify them as innocent. The same is requested by the defense.

It was previously declared that the verdict would be announced on 28 December. Subsequently, the verdict was postponed to 18 January, and today the court postponed the sentencing for another month.

The lawyer Behruz Bayramov called the court decision "strange." The court explained postponement of the decision with the absence of the lawyers at the trial. However, Bayramov said the lawyers had presented the final speeches. If the lawyers’ presence had been so important, the meeting could have been moved for a few hours, Bayramov said.

Zahidov was arrested in July 2015 on charges of drug trafficking on a large scale. The Baku Court of Grave Crimes sentenced him to 6 years in prison.

Both of them rejected the accusation and said they were arrested because of Ganimat Zahid's journalism to put pressure on him.

Amnesty International has recognized them "prisoners of conscience".

However, on November 8, 2016 a statement was circulated on behalf of them in the media, in which they renounced Ganimat and asked the media not to call them "prisoners of conscience".  --03B06-

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