Entrepreneur Demands Convicting Journalist

Baku / 06.01.19 / Turan: The editor of the website criminal.az Anar Mammadov was brought as the accused in the lawsuit of the owner of the company Pawnshop N: 1 Malahat Gurbanova.

The case will be considered on January 7 in the Agdam District Court, chaired by Judge Mahir Niftiev.

According to the journalist himself, Gurbanova accuses him of libel, demanding conviction under Art. 147 (Defamation) and 148 (insult) of the Criminal Code.

Earlier, the Yasamal district court twice refused to accept this lawsuit.

The lawsuit brought articles: Ex-minister Sues Pawnshop Malahat and Litigation of Pawnshop Malahat with Ex-minister: They Will Not Share Basement of Rolls-Royce Center).

The articles talk about the lawsuit between Gurbanova and former Minister of Labor Fizuli Alekperov because of a non-residential area.

Gurbanova in the lawsuit indicates that she is not engaged in pawnshop activities and accuses the journalist of protecting the interests of the Ex-minister.

The defense considers the lawsuit unsubstantiated, since there is no evidence of defamation in the materials. The heading indicates the scope of the entrepreneur, and this is recorded in the name of her enterprise. Finally, prosecuting a journalist for defamation is contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights and the decisions of the European Court of Justice.

Media expert Alesker Mammadli also believes that courts should not criminalize defamation lawsuits and they will be refuted by the European Court of Human Rights as a violation of Article 10 of the European Convention.

Note that if the court convicts Mammadov, he faces imprisonment of up to two years and, in addition, 5.5 years in prison, which he is currently serving on probation.

Mammadov was repeatedly harassed by the police and prosecutors for his publications. The last time on December 30, 2019 at the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime, he was accused of receiving grants through the journalist Khadija Ismayilova. He rejected these allegations and made public the attempts to get incriminating evidence from him about Ismayilova.

It should be noted that Mammadov currently has a suspended sentence of 5.5 years with a two-year probation period on charges of anti-state calls and abuse of authority and forgery.

The reason for this was the publication on the criminal.az website about the attempt on the former head of the city of Ganja, Elmar Veliyev.

The sentence was condemned by a number of international journalistic organizations, as well as OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Arlem Desir. -16D06-


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