BAKU -- Jailed Azerbaijani journalist Eynulla Fatullayev may face a new drug-related charge, which could extend his 8 1/2 year sentence he is currently serving, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.
On December 29, officials searched Fatullayev's prison cell in Baku and allegedly found 0.23 grams of heroin in his jacket, prison spokesman Mehman Sadigov told RFE/RL.
Sadigov said Fatullayev is not the only prisoner found in possession of drugs.
Azerbaijan's Court for Serious Crimes sentenced Fatullayev in October 2007 to 8 1/2 years' imprisonment on a number of charges, including "terrorism."
This latter charge was based on an article Fatullayev wrote speculating that Iran might strike at U.S. targets in Azerbaijan in the event of a U.S. attack on Iran.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg has agreed to hear Fatullayev's appeal against his sentence, but has not yet set a date for doing so.
The journalist's father, Emin Fatullayev, claims his son was framed by prison officials and says that it would be impossible for drugs to be brought into his son's cell without the connivance of prison personnel.
Emin Fatullayev says the potential drug charge is intended to ensure his son will not be released after the ECHR ruling.