Witnesses testify in favor of Faig Amirov - lawyer

Baku/01.06.17/Turan: An investigation in the case of financial director of the Azadliq newspaper Faig Amirov began in the Sabail District Court on Thursday, under the chairmanship of Ayten Aliyeva.

He was detained on August 20, 2016 and charged under the 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 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.

As lawyer Agil Lajev told Turan, today the indictment was read out, the content of which concerns the activities of the newspaper Azadlyg, and there was no evidence of Amirov's guilt on the charges brought forward. So, the investigation does not explain in what form Amirov fomented inter-religious and inter-ethnic enmity in the media.

The investigation also claims that such materials were on the disks seized from Amirov. However, a publication in mass media, according to Article 283.2.2, is not considered a criminal offense, if it did not entail specific cases of hostility.

Secondly, there was not a publication. Thirdly, the content of the disc is not disclosed. The investigation simply states that there are calls for changing the constitutional order and establishing religious orders.

The defense petitioned to review the disc, but the court did not consider it.

Lawyers also suggested investigating the allegation that Amirov was Imam of Fetullah Gulen.

However, witnesses were questioned at the trial on charges of evading taxes.

"The witnesses testified in favor of Amirov. They were representatives of press distribution companies. They said that firms kept 40% of the price of each copy, and the rest was given to the editorial staff. That is, they confirmed the unjustified accrual of the editorial tax on the basis of the total amount of circulation without taking into account the costs of distribution and printing.

In addition, representatives of the firms said that not all the copies were sold. That is, the tax authorities calculated the peak sales," said Laidzhev.

In total, the tax debt for the amount of 39 thousand manats was added. Defense rejects this accusation. At the same time, the prosecution did not take into account the fact that the state firm Gasid owed editorial offices almost 70,000 manat. The next court session is scheduled for June 5. -B06-

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