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Azeri Officials Find Drugs In Journalist's System After First Finding None

Eynulla Fatullayev in a Baku court in 2007
Eynulla Fatullayev in a Baku court in 2007
Azerbaijani officials have reversed their initial findings and are reporting that test results show jailed journalist Eynulla Fatullayev had heroin in his blood and urine, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Fatullayev's lawyer, Isakhan Ashurov, said Fatullayev called the new results "erroneous." He said he never used heroin or any other drugs and that officials are trying to use the results to prolong his jail term.

Ashurov said he has filed for the results of the blood tests to be examined by an independent expert.

Officials initially said the test results, released over the weekend, showed that Fatullayev was not a drug addict and did not need to be moved to a drug treatment center.

The test was ordered because officials said they found 0.23 grams of heroin in Fatullayev's jacket after searching his prison cell in Baku on December 29.

Fatullayev said the drugs were planted on him. His father, Emin Fatullayev, claimed his son was framed by prison officials and said it would be impossible for drugs to be brought into his son's cell without the connivance of prison personnel.

He could receive three additional years in jail if found guilty of the drug charges.

Fatullayev was sentenced in 2007 to 8 1/2 years in jail for tax evasion and instigating terror. He said the charges against him have been fabricated for political reasons.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is finalizing Fatullayev's case challenging the Azerbaijani government's case against him.