Azerbaijan news

The prison term of two journalists was extended

The judge accepted the prosecutor’s presentation

Two of the journalists detained in the criminal case related to the “AbzasMedia” publication – investigative journalist Hafiz Babali and Elnara Gasimova – have been remanded in custody for the initial investigation period. A decision was made on June 10 in the Khatai District Court.

Based on the prosecutor’s submissions, the judge decided to extend Hafiz Babali’s detention period by 1 month and Elnara Gasimova’s detention period by 2 months.

Aggregation of sites

Aggregation of sites

In both trials, the investigator defended the presentation. He said that the investigation on the “Abzas case” in which both Hafiz Babaly and Elnara Gasimova were accused has not yet been concluded, there is work to be done. Since the investigation has not been completed, it is not appropriate to release the named journalists from prison. Because there is a possibility of evading the investigation and affecting the course of the process. In this regard, the investigator asked for the extension of the preventive measure.

Journalists and their lawyers objected to the presentation. Journalists emphasized that they did not commit any crime, they were arrested for their professional activities.

The lawyers said that there is no reason to keep Hafiz Babaly and Elnara Gasimova in prison. The defenders emphasized that the named journalists have been detained for half a year without any evidence confirming that they have committed any crime. Even if the investigation is ongoing, the process can be carried out without detaining them.

However, in both trials, the judge allowed the presentation of the prosecutor and decided to extend the period of detention of the journalists.

The journalists’ lawyers will file an appeal against this decision.

Arrests in the “AbzasMedia” case, known for its corruption investigations, began on November 20. First, the site’s director Ulvi Hasanli, deputy director Mahammad Kekalov, and editor-in-chief Sevinj Vagifqizi were arrested. Later, arrests continued with investigative journalist Hafiz Babali, Nargiz Absalamova and Elnara Gasimova. They are also charged with Article 206.3.2 (smuggling by a group of persons) of the Criminal Code.

The sanction of this article provides for imprisonment from 5 to 8 years.

After Ulvi Hasanli was detained on November 20, the office of “AbzasMedia” was searched. It was claimed that 40,000 euros were found in the site’s office.

Ulvi Hasanli said that there was no money there, that 40,000 euros were deposited in the office by those who claimed to have found it.

None of the named journalists plead not guilty, “AbzasMedia” said that a number of officials, including members of the President’s family, were punished for investigations related to business and corruption.

After “AbzasMedia”, the managers and employees of “Kanal 13” internet channel, “Toplum TV” news portal and internet television of the same name, “” website, which investigates the activities of the Milli Majlis and deputies, were also arrested on charges of smuggling. It is alleged that these media organizations received grants from foreign organizations and smuggled those funds into the country.

However, the journalists reject this accusation and state that they were arrested without any evidence related to smuggling. They stated that the purpose of these arrests is to silence media organizations that investigate corruption and official arbitrariness in the country and inform the public.

“24 saat”

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