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Charges against translator dropped

(IRFS/IFEX) - On 29 July 2009, the Narimanov District Court, under Judge Turgay Huseynov, dropped the criminal charges against "Khural" newspaper chief editor Avaz Zeynalli that had been filed by the National Security Ministry due to Zeynalli's translation and publication of Adolf Hitler's book "Mein Kampf".

In his final speech, Zeynalli said that there's no ethnic/national discrimination in the translation of Adolf Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" and his aim was only to translate the book into Azerbaijani. "In light of this, I ask to throw out the criminal case opened under article 283.1 of the Criminal Case."

During the last hearing, State Prosecutor Elfag Safarov demanded that Zeynalli be fined in the amount of 1,500 AZN (approx. US$1,800).

After a deliberation, the judge announced the decision to throw out the criminal case against Zeynalli.

In December 2004, the National Security Ministry instituted a criminal case under article 283.1 (Incitement of Ethnic/National, Social or Religious Hatred) when "Mein Kampf" was published in Azeri, however the case was thrown out in February 2005 due to failure to prove that a crime was committed. Then in May 2007, due to the reprinting of this book, Rustam Usubov, first deputy to the Prosecutor General, reopened this case and was sent to the National Security Ministry's Investigation Department. In August of the same year, the investigation was concluded and case materials were sent to Narimanov District Court for consideration.

Despite IRFS employees' appeal, the judge did not permit anyone to take photos or to film the hearing.

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