Azerbaijan: Prosecutors Complete Investigation Into Case of Jailed Journalist Khadija Ismayilova
The criminal investigation into the case of jailed investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova has been completed by Azerbaijani prosecutors.
Ismayilova has been held in pre-trial detention since her arrest last December when a court ruled to hold her for two months pending inquiries by the authorities.
Her detention has since been extended a number of times. According to Azerbaijani press, the Sabail District Prosecutor's office has finally completed its probe into the allegation that Ismayilova incited an acquaintance to attempt suicide.
The development means that her lawyers will now have access to the authorities’ evidence against her.
Ismayilova’s former colleague Tural Mustafayev reported last year that Ismayilova had driven him to try to poison himself. He has since withdrawn his complaint, claiming it was made during a period of "emotional stress", but prosecutors have not dropped the case against the investigative journalist.
Instead, in the six months since her arrest, a number of other charges have been brought against her, including running an illegal business, tax evasion, and abuse of power.
Ismayilova has dismissed the charges as "ridiculous". International human rights watchdogs have called the case against her politically motivated.
Khadija Ismayilova is a multi-award-winning journalist known for her investigations into corruption at the highest levels of the Azerbaijani government.
In the six months following her arrest, her controversial imprisonment has captured the attention of the international community.
Earlier this year she was awarded the PEN Freedom to Write Award, as well as the Swedish National Press Club's 2015 Freedom of Speech Award.