OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir today welcomed the decision by Azerbaijan’s authorities to drop criminal charges against Azerbaijani journalist Mehman Aliyev and Turan News Agency.
“I welcome this positive step and hope that the news agency will fully resume its important work soon, and work without further pressure in the future,” Désir said in a statement posted on OSCE's website.
Based on the results of a raid conducted by the Ministry of Taxes in the office of Turan News Agency on August 25 in order to investigate the existence of tax risks and cases of tax evasion, the Department for the Preliminary Investigation of Tax Crimes has initiated a criminal case under Article 213.1 (tax evasion) of the Criminal Code.
A criminal case was filed against Mehman Aliyev on August 24 on charges of illegal entrepreneurship (Article â„– 192.2), tax evasion (Article â„– 213.1) and abuse of power (Article â„– 308).
The Prosecutor General’s Office sent an official notification to Mehman Aliyev on the termination of the criminal case on Nov.2.
The notification said that the criminal case filed against Turan News Agency under articles 192.2.2, 213.1 and 308.1 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan was terminated.