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Azerbaijani Journalist Sentenced On Bribery Charge

Avaz Zeynalli in a Baku court in October
Avaz Zeynalli in a Baku court in October
BAKU -- A court in Baku has sentenced an Azerbaijani journalist to nine years in prison on bribery-related charges.

Avaz Zeynalli, the chief editor of the independent newspaper "Xural" (Parliament), was found guilty of extorting and accepting a bribe from former parliament deputy Gulyar Ahmadova.

Ahmadova was arrested last month and charged with abuse of public office in order to commit embezzlement.

In September, a video appeared online showing Ahmadova, then a parliamentary deputy with the ruling New Azerbaijan Party, discussing the size of a bribe required to secure a seat in parliament.

Zeynalli pleaded not guilty at his trial, saying the case against him was connected with his work as a journalist.

His lawyer said he will appeal the verdict.

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