Journalist and lawyer jailed in Azerbaijan

Journalist and lawyer jailed in Azerbaijan
Update: 12 September 2022 01:29
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Xural TV's editor-in-chief Avaz Zeynalli is accused, on the basis of claims on government media, of receiving bribes.

The detained editor in chief of a leading independent Azerbaijani media outlet and a lawyer were remanded in custody for four months on Sunday in Azerbaijan.

Avaz Zeynalli, the chief editor of Xural TV -a Youtube channel with close to quarter of a million subscribers,- is accused of accepting bribes from an Azerbaijani businessman who is himself facing criminal charges, including embezzlement, to stop printing critical reports on that case.

Elchin Sadigov, the businessman’s lawyer, is accused of having acted as the intermediary.

The court's decision followed claims against Zeynalli in government media.

The businessman, Rasim Mammadov, is the head of the Baku Steel Company. In February 2021, Mammadov was detained on charges, including embezzlement of some 55 million manat (over $32 million).

Mammadov, who is represented by Sadigov, denies the charges.

It is the second time Zeynalli has been accused of bribery-related charges. He was arrested in 2011 over charges of extortion and receiving bribe from former deputy Gulyar Ahmadova.

Zeynalli pleaded not guilty in his trial in 2013, saying the case against him was connected with his work as a journalist.

He was sentenced to nine years in prison, but was released a year later in 2014.