Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 30

The judicial proceedings against Popular Front leader Abulfaz Elchibey, the former president of Azerbaijan, have been dropped. President Haidar Aliev “recommended” this step on February 10, and state prosecutors complied on February 11. Elchibey had been indicted for slandering the head of state, and faced a prison term of up to six years if found guilty. He had, in a statement last November, accused Aliev of having been instrumental in creating the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) during the 1970s as part of Soviet policies to undermine Turkey.

Elchibey was never able to substantiate his assertion, and sought to qualify it during the judicial proceedings. The Popular Front and its allies picketed the court building during the proceedings and threatened to call mass demonstrations if Elchibey were convicted. They also described the case against Elchibey as a major stumbling block to the political dialogue which the authorities are offering to hold with the opposition. Having discontinued the case, the authorities hope to advance toward that dialogue (Turan, February 11).

The Monitor is a publication of the Jamestown Foundation. It is researched and written under the direction of senior analysts Jonas Bernstein, Vladimir Socor, Stephen Foye, and analysts Ilya Malyakin, Oleg Varfolomeyev and Ilias Bogatyrev. If you have any questions regarding the content of the Monitor, please contact the foundation. If you would like information on subscribing to the Monitor, or have any comments, suggestions or questions, please contact us by e-mail at, by fax at 301-562-8021, or by postal mail at The Jamestown Foundation, 4516 43rd Street NW, Washington DC 20016. Unauthorized reproduction or redistribution of the Monitor is strictly prohibited by law. Copyright (c) 1983-2002 The Jamestown Foundation Site Maintenance by Johnny Flash Productions