BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Azerbaijan’s highest court has ordered the release of an investigative journalist on probation in a case widely criticized by human rights organizations.
Khadija Ismayilova and her supporters have said her conviction and prison sentence were retribution for her reports on alleged corruption involving President Ilham Aliyev and his family in the oil-rich former Soviet republic.
In September 2015, a court in Azerbaijan convicted Ismayilova, a contributor to U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, of several financial crimes and sentenced her to 7½ years in prison. On Wednesday, Azerbaijan’s Supreme Court cut her sentence to five years and ordered her released on probation.
Ismayilova is expected to be set free later Wednesday.
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