A gay-tinged scandal in Azerbaijan proves that post-Soviets know how to produce a scandal!
Twenty-five year old Agil Khalil claims a hit man stabbed him to stop the journalists investigation into real estate corruption. He and his peers at the local paper, Azadliq also allege that Khalil came under attack earlier last month, as well.
Prosecutors say otherwise: Khalil’s stab wound, they claim, came from a jealous gay lover. They’ve even produced a man who testifies on video that he and the journalist had been dating and “admits” he attacked him during a spat. While it’s certainly a believable story, the devilish details definitely don’t add up:
Many of Strekalin’s claims about his friendship with Khalil appear to be false. He alleges the two men met in the autumn of 2005; at that time, however, Khalil had been enlisted for military service and was not living in Baku. Strekalin speaks of offering cigarettes to Khalil, who does not smoke. Moreover, Strekalin speaks no Azeri, while Khalil speaks no Russian.
The video also includes “testimony” from two additional men who claim to have had sexual relations with Khalil. Although the footage is peppered with images of the journalist and references to Azadliq, no mention is made of Khalil’s investigative reporting or the paper’s allegations that the attack was tied to his work.
Khalil also testified that prosecutors had warned him that they would fabricate a gay story to embarrass him. Too bad they didn’t do a convincing job. They did, however, spark one of the best scandals of the year.