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Trial Of Azerbaijani Journalist Ismayilova Postponed

Khadija Ismayilova

BAKU -- The trial of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova in Azerbaijan has been postponed until August 31.

On August 26, the judge announced her decision to delay the hearing after Ismayilova's lawyer, Fariz Namazli, requested a new trial, arguing that prosecutors had ignored documents proving his client’s innocence.

Last week, a state prosecutor requested a nine-year sentence for Ismayilova.

The request on August 21 came a day after the state's case against the 39-year-old Ismayilova was wrapped up during a closed-door hearing in Baku.

Ismayilova, an RFE/RL contributor who reported extensively on corruption in Azerbaijan, faces charges of embezzlement, tax evasion, and abuse of power.

She rejects the charges against her, saying they are politically motivated retaliation for her reporting.

Her arrest has sparked widespread condemnation by international human rights activists and Western governments.