The Court of Appeal upheld the verdict of the journalist M. Hajibeyli

Today the Baku Court of Appeal chaired by Vagif Mursagulov, considered an appeal against the verdict to the chief editor of the bastainfo.com website, Mustafa Hajibeyli. On February 23 of this year, the Baku Serious Crimes Court found him guilty under the Articles 309 (abuse of office), 313 (official forgery) and 281 (appeals against the state) of the Criminal Code and sentenced him to 5.5 years of imprisonment with two -year trial period. “Attorney Osman Kyazimov and I asked the appellate court to issue an acquittal verdict. We proved that the sentence was illegal and registered. However, state prosecutor Mustejab Aliyev spoke for keeping the sentence in force and the court dismissed the complaint,” said Hajibeyli Turan. According to him, the defense will file an appeal to the Supreme Court and then, if the sentence is not canceled, will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

* On July 9, 2018, the Prosecutor General”s Office opened a criminal case on the dissemination to the Internet of “false information” and “illegal appeals” in connection with the assassination attempt on the head of Ganja Elmar Veliyev and the energy blackout in Mingachevir, when almost all of Azerbaijan remained without power supply. After that, the prosecutor’s office appealed to the Ministry of Communications to block the sites “Bastainfo.com”, “criminalaz.com”, “topxeber.az” and “fia.az”.

At first, Hajibeyli was held as a witness. However, on November 30, he was transferred to the status of the accused. In particular, he was charged under the Criminal Code: 281.2 (appeals against the state), 309.2 (abuse of office) and 313 (official forgery). Regarding the editor, a preventive measure was chosen in the form of a program under police supervision. He denied all charges. The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Dezir, Reporters without Borders, and other international organizations condemned the verdict on the journalist.