A Baku court handed the editor-in-chief of an independent Azerbaijani newspaper a 2-year suspended prison sentence Wednesday for libeling a top law enforcement official, a defense lawyer said.
The libel suit against Eynulla Fatullayev was the latest to be lodged by Interior Minister Ramil Usubov in connection with articles published in at least two Azerbaijani newspapers linking Usubov to a former high-ranking ministry officer who has admitted to killing an opposition magazine editor.
Defense lawyer Isakhan Ashurov said Wednesday's ruling by the Yasamal district court convicting and sentencing Fattullayev was wrong.
"The court's decision was unjust, illegal and groundless and was passed with grow violations of Azerbaijani and European laws," Ashurov said. "Fatullayev's guilt was not proven."