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Baku Prosecutor Seeks Nine-Year Sentence For Journalist Ismayilova

Baku Prosecutor Seeks Nine-Year Sentence For Journalist Ismayilova by EurasiaNet

A EurasiaNet Partner Post from: RFE/RL

A state prosecutor in Azerbaijan has asked for a nine-year prison sentence for Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative journalist and contributor to RFE/RL.

The request on August 21 came a day after the prosecution wrapped up its case against Ismayilova, who is being tried on economic crimes charges she says are politically motivated.

The judge adjourned the hearing after the sentencing request was made, and scheduled the next session for August 26. The verdict could come on that day.

Ismayilova and international human rights organizations have called her trial politically motivated punishment for her investigations into corruption at the highest levels of government in the oil-producing former Soviet republic.

Ismayilova's mother, Elmira, said that Khadija laughed when she heard the sentencing request.

"My child has never done anything bad," Elmira told RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service. "She has always spoken the truth."

Ismayilova, who has won numerous international awards for her reporting, has accused the court of rushing through her trial and not giving her or her lawyers sufficient chance to respond to the charges.

"This is an express court. You leave no time for us to discuss the proceedings," she told the judge on August 12.

Only some representatives of foreign embassies have been able...