“We consider all attempts to intervene in the ruling in the case of Khadija Ismayil, as well as politicization of the sentence and distortion of the decision unacceptable and strongly condemn such approach. In addition, we also consider it unacceptable and strongly condemn the political statements in relation to this case and decision made purely on legal bases.”
This statement was made by Hikmat Hajiyev, the head of the press department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in response to Western criticism to the verdict on Khadija ismayil.
“It is unfortunate, that already during the investigation process of the criminal case against Khadija Ismayil, there were attempts to politicize her case and intervene in the investigation. These kind of attempts are seen as direct interference with the sovereignty of Azerbaijani Republic”, said Hajiev.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on many occasions stated that the independence and the rule of law of the Azerbaijan Republic’s judiciary is fully guaranteed. The decisions of the court must be respected. By law, every citizen has a right to appeal the decision”.
Investigative journalist Khadija Ismayil was arrested last year December. On September 1, the court in Baku sentenced the journalist to 7 ½ years of imprisonment. She was found guilty on the following charges:
- embezzlement and misappropriation;
- illegal entrepreneurship;
- tax evasion;
- and abuse of power.
The journalist considers the charges groundless and says her arrest and the sentencing are the direct result of her journalistic work exposing the illegal businesses of the ruling family.