A poster with the photo of Afghan Mukhtarly. Photo: REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

16 April 2019, 14:19

Afghan Mukhtarly's defence refutes Georgia's Premier

The statement of Mamuka Bakhtadze, the Prime Minister of Georgia, about cooperation with Azerbaijan in the case of the kidnapping of journalist, Afghan Mukhtarly, is not confirmed by Georgia's actions, the Mukhtarly's defence has stated.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on January 12, 2018, the court sentenced Mukhtarly to six years in prison on charges of illegally crossing the border, smuggling and resisting a law enforcer. On April 10, 2019, the Georgia's Premier, when speaking at the PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) session about the extradition of the journalist to Baku, said that the Georgian authorities are in "coordination with Azerbaijan."

However, Zibeida Sadygova, a Mukhtarly's advocate, said that the defence had received no information about the cooperation of law enforcers of Georgia and Azerbaijan.

She also believes that the transfer of Mukhtarly to Georgia is impossible, since the journalist "has committed no crime there"; moreover, "he is a citizen of Azerbaijan."

Mukhtarly has linked his persecution with his inquiries into corruption in Azerbaijan. He is on the list of Azerbaijani political prisoners.

Samir Asadli, a Mukhtarly's public defender, spoke about Afghan's health problems: "He has an acute form of diabetes mellitus, which is aggravated in prison due to lack of mobility and fresh air is."

According to Mr Asadli, Mukhtarly maintains good spirits and intends to continue his investigative journalism when back at large.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 16, 2019 at 08:30 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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