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Azerbaijan Court Sentences Opposition Editor in Libel Case

A court in Azerbaijan has given the editor of an independent newspaper a two-year suspended prison sentence for what prosecutors say was the libeling of a top police officer.

The libel suit against Eyunulla Fatullayev is the latest filed by Azerbaijan's Interior Minister Ramil Usubov in connection with published reports linking the minister to another official who has admitted killing an opposition magazine editor.

The Associated Press quotes a defense lawyer as calling Wednesday's ruling "unjust, illegal and groundless."

Fatullayev's Russian-language newspaper, Realnyi Azerbaijan in July published articles purporting to show that Usubov had ties to the confessed killer of the editor of the magazine Monitor. Usubov had denied any link to the crime.

Fatullayev - an outspoken critic of the Baku government - was attacked two years ago by unknown assailants just days after another opposition editor was kidnapped and beaten in Baku.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.