Newspaper editor charged tax evasion

March 4th, 2013

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Gundam Khabar newspaper founder Shirin Jafari is prohibited to exit Baku, as Jafari told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) on March 4.  The Anti-Corruption Office has concluded investigation of the criminal case filed against Jafari who is now being charged under Article 213.2.2 (evasion of tax in large amounts) of the Criminal Code. 

“The investigation concluded that, as the founder of the newspaper, I violated the tax legislation; specifically, I had falsified the tax declarations that I presented to the tax authorities in 2009-2011 paying 82 AZN in simplified tax instead of 3,316 AZN, and also failed to provide income tax returns in 2009 and 2010, thus evading 68,244 AZN in tax. So, in total I am accused of dodging a total of 71,478 AZN in tax for three years” said Shirin Jafari.

According to Jafari, the materials of his criminal case have been submitted to the Kapaz District Court of Ganja city for consideration.

Note that the Anti-Corruption Office under the General Prosecutor’s Officefiled a criminal case against the Gundam Khabar newspaper founder Shirin Jafari under articles 213.2.2 (tax evasion) and 308.1 (abuse of position) of the Criminal Code. The criminal case was opened following a request by the Press Council for the investigation of the newspaper’s activities. The Press Council accused the newspaper of ignoring citizens’ right to personal privacy, disseminating information insulting citizens’ honor and dignity, and regularly violating journalism ethics.

According to the General Prosecutor’s Office, the investigation revealed that Jafari violated not only the principles of the law on mass media, but also the tax legislation; in particular, financial statements necessary for tax calculation have not been provided, accounting has not been carried out, the number of printed copies has not been provided, cash transaction reporting requirements have been violated, and 68,244 AZN in tax has been evaded. All of this taken into account, Jafari is required to pay 107,000 AZN fine.

Jafari says he has appealed to the court against this claim.

Gundam Khabar newspaper is published since June, 2009.