Avaz Zeynalli: “My arrest was ordered by Presidential Administration head Ramiz Mehdiyev”

“My arrest was ordered by Presidential Administration head Ramiz Mehdiyev and carried out by head of Socio-Political Department at the Presidential Administration, Ali Hasanov” said Khural newspaper chief editor Avaz Zeynalli in his testimony at the Baku Grave Crimes Court. Zeynalli recounted how his voice was recorded at a meeting with former MP Guler Ahmedova and how Ramiz Mehdiyev and Ali Hasanov used this recording to “trap” him.

“The charges filed against me are dishonest and immoral” said Zeynalli, emphasizing that he has always been committed to fight against bribery and corruption. 

The chief editor condemned the public prosecutor for defending Guler Ahmedova’s lawsuit brought against him and stressed that former MP Guler Ahmedova is under Ramiz Mehdiyev’s patronage and therefore managed to avoid his trial.

“The court and investigator are more afraid of Ramiz Mehdiyev than of Ilham Aliyev” said Zeynalli.

Zeynalli said that all the witnesses, who testified against him, were instructed by Ali Hasanov. Zeynalli said he strongly believes that if Ali Hasanov failed to put Guler Ahmedova against him, he would most probably use Tanzile Rustemkhanli instead. Zeynalli also added that the State Support Fund for Mass Media Development is a shared business of Vugar Safarli and Ali Hasanov.

The Khural chief editor also mentioned that the tax inspections conducted in Khural newspaper’s office were in total violation of law.

The trial will continue on November 22, at 2:00pm.

Avaz Zeynalli was arrested on October 28th 2011, following a lawsuit brought against him by former MP Guler Ahmedova. He is charged with taking large bribe and extortion.

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