Witnesses testify in favor of Faig Amirov

Baku / 19.06.17 / Turan: On June 19 the Sabail District Court, under the chairmanship of Judge Ayten Aliyeva held a regular meeting in the case of the financial director of the Azadlig newspaper and the assistant to the head of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan Faig Amirov. Amirov was detained on August 20, 2016 and charged under Articles: 168.1 (encroachment on the rights of citizens under the pretext of performing religious rites) and 283.2.2 of the Criminal Code (inciting inter-religious and inter-ethnic hostility in the media).

On April 17, 2017, new charges were brought against him under the Articles: 213.1 (tax evasion) and 308 (abuse of official authority). However, as a result of the preliminary investigation, articles 168.1 and 308 were dropped.

Amirov was recognized as a human rights activist by political prisoners. The International Organization for the Protection of Journalists "Reporters Without Borders" condemned Amirov's arrest and called for removing "ridiculous accusations" from him.

The hearing was continued at the meeting. The process was observed by employees of the embassies of the United States, Great Britain and the mission of the European Union, representatives of the public and the opposition.

Eight witnesses were heard at the trial. These are mostly people who posted advertisements and advertisements in the newspaper Azadlig 5-10 years ago. Only Akif Velimetov, the head of the economic department of the publishing house "Azerbaijan", said that he was familiar with Amirov.

"We had business relations. However, Amirov was not the person making the decision. Recently, the editorial board formed a debt of 20,000 manats. Amirov and the deputy editor of the newspaper said that they cannot pay, because they owed the printing press firm, they can not repay the debt to the publisher," Velimetov said.

Witness Nadir Aliyev said that 5-6 years ago he published an advertisement in the newspaper about buying and selling books. "For each announcement, I gave one edition of the book. He did not pay cash, "Aliyev said.

Witness Valeh Guliyev lost the document in 2001 and published an announcement about this in the newspaper Azadlig. The materials of the case indicate that he made an announcement in 2011, paying only 2 manats. The witness said that he does not confirm what was written in the case file.

Witness Anar Abbasov said that he was engaged in street selling newspapers. "I worked in a newspaper distributing firm. On the day I sold 10-15 copies of the newspaper Azadlig. With each newspaper, I had 28-30% of the money, " said the witness.

Other witnesses said that they published ads in the newspaper, but for this they did not pay money, not only Amirov, but in general the editorial staff. During the break Amirov in the courtroom told the correspondent of Turan that he had serious health problems. "I have gastritis - sharp pains in the stomach and gallbladder. The doctor examines and prescribes medicines, but even painkillers do not help. I will refer to the transfer to the medical institution," Amirov said. -03C-

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