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Prosecutor Seeks Seven-Year Jail Term For Azerbaijani Reporter

  • RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service

BAKU -- A prosecutor has asked an Azerbaijani court to sentence journalist Rauf Mirqadirov to seven years in jail in an espionage case.

The trial -- which is being held behind closed doors -- was adjourned on December 16 for one week.

Mirqadirov, a commentator for the independent Russian-language daily Zerkalo, was arrested in April last year after he was deported from Turkey, where he had lived with his family for three years.

He has been charged with espionage for allegedly providing Azerbaijani state secrets to Armenian security services.

Mirqadirov has rejected the charges and called them retaliation by Baku for his critical reporting of the Azerbaijani government.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned Mirqadirov's arrest, calling it politically motivated.

The U.S. State Department also expressed concern over the situation faced by Mirqadirov after his arrest.