Trial of Azeri Islamic Party Begins

BAKU (Itar-Tass)–Azerbaijan’s Supreme Court began hearing the case of the Islamic Party on Wednesday.

Party chairman Ali Akram Aliyev and members of the party’s Supreme Council–Vagif Gasymov–Gadzhiaga Nuriyev and Mirsalezh Dzhafarov–who have been in custody since May 1996–are charged with cooperating with Iranian secret service agents and disclosing vital intelligence information.

According to Azeri media reports–the Islamic Party was officially formed in Azerbaijan in September 1992 when the Popular Front headed by Abulfaz Elchibey was in office. Although the party did not enjoy broad public support–it managed to open over 70 district offices with approximately 50,000 members.

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