‘Communications Case’: Defendant Brought to Court on Stretcher

March 15th, 2017

Summary: 30th hearing

➢ Examination of documents continued. All of the 530 volumes of case documents were announced and the procedure was finished;
➢ Defendant Bayram Valiyev’s lawyer lodged a petition, noting that his client had a spinal hernia and needed urgent surgery. The judge denied the petition, saying it was within the Penitentiary Service Treatment Facility’s power, not that of the court;
➢ An oral motion to free defendant Bayram Valiyev to house arrest in view of his serious disease was similarly rejected;
➢ The court also dismissed the motion for interrogation of additional witnesses filed by the lawyer of defendant Sahrab Humbatov, the chief accountant of the Optical Communications, Construction and Installation LLC.

On 15 March, Baku Grave Crimes Court, chaired by Judge Afgan Hajiyev, continued the proceedings in the criminal case against the former Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies (MCHT) Vidadi Zeynalov, former Director General of Baku Telephone Communications Production Association (BTCPA) Beytulla Huseynov, Director of Communications Repair & Construction No.3 LLC and Repair & Supply Service LLC Emin Mammadov, chief accountant of these LLCs Anar Mustafayev, Director General of Aztelekom LLC Mahammad Mammadov, chief accountant of the LLC Oktay Rustamov, Director General of AzInTelekom LLC Jalil Jafarov, Director General of Azerpost LLC Gambar Baybalayev, Director of Optical Communications, Construction and Installation LLC Namazali Mammadov, chief accountant of the LLC Sahrab Humbatov, and Director of Baku Communications Repair & Construction LLC and Repair & Supply Service LLC Bayram Valiyev.

Defendant Bayram Valiyev was brought to the courtroom on a stretcher. He was allotted space next to his lawyers. Valiyev attended the hearing lying on the stretcher.

Examination of documents continued at the hearing. All of the 530 volumes of case documents were announced and the procedure was finished.

After that, Bayram Valiyev’s lawyer Eyvaz Mammadov lodged a petition. The lawyer noted that his client could not sit or walk because of an 18-mm spinal disc hernia. “Valiyev needs urgent surgery. Please allow him to be operated on. In the Treatment Facility, where Valiyev currently stays, surgeries are not performed. Let him be operated on in a civilian hospital,” the lawyer said.

Public prosecutor Farid Nagiyev said although he did not object to Valiyev’s surgery, giving permission for the surgery was within the authority of the Penitentiary Service, not the court.

The judge also stated that it fell within the authority of the Treatment Facility of the Penitentiary Service and denied the motion. “This issue is beyond our scope. If tomorrow the Treat Facility issues an opinion that Bayram Valiyev should not be brought to court, we will then discuss this matter,” the judge noted.

Defendant Vidadi Zeynalov’s lawyer Jeyhun Yusifov filed an oral motion to release Bayram Valiyev under house arrest due to his serious illness. The presiding judge protested against the lawyer, reminding him that he represented Vidadi Zeynalov, not Bayram Valiyev, and noted that the issue of changing the measure of restraint had already been discussed and decided.

Defendant Vidadi Zeynalov also requested that Bayram Valiyev is released under house arrest, but the presiding judge reiterated that a decision had been made on that issue.

Bayram Valiyev raised an objection. “I am not an employee of the Ministry of National Security or the Ministry of Communications. Show some humaneness. I need a surgery, not house arrest. What should I do, cut myself? I need just one day to undergo surgery and get back on my feet. You can then take me back. They say it is up to court, you say it is up to them,” the defendant said. The judge repeated that it was not within the court’s competence.

Next, defendant Sahrab Humbatov’s lawyer Nazrin Jafarova filed a motion for interrogation of additional witnesses. The motion was not granted.

The next hearing was set for 17 March, 10.30 am.

Background: The following former senior officials of the ICT Ministry and its affiliate agencies are on the dock in a high-profile corruption case: former Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies Vidadi Zeynalov, former Director General of Baku Telephone Communications Production Association (BTCPA) Beytulla Huseynov, Director of Communications Repair & Construction No.3 LLC and Repair & Supply Service LLC Emin Mammadov, chief accountant of these LLCs Anar Mustafayev, Director General of Aztelekom LLC Mahammad Mammadov, chief accountant of the LLC Oktay Rustamov, Director General of AzInTelekom LLC Jalil Jafarov, Director General of Azerpost LLC Gambar Baybalayev, Director of Optical Communications, Construction and Installation LLC Namazali Mammadov, chief accountant of the LLC Sahrab Humbatov, and Director of Baku Communications Repair & Construction LLC and Repair & Supply Service LLC Bayram Valiyev.
Of them, Vidadi Zeynalov, Beytulla Huseynov, Anar Mustafayev, Emin Mammadov, Mammad Mammadov, Oktay Rustamov, Namazali Mammadov, Sahrab Humbatov and Gambar Baybalayev are charged under Articles 179.3.1 (misappropriation or waste, committed as an organised group), 179.3.2 (misappropriation or waste, in a large amount), 308.2 (abuse of official powers) and 313 (service forgery) of the Criminal Code. Jalil Jafarov is charged under Articles 179.3.1 and 179.3.2. Bayram Valiyev is charged under Articles 179.3.1, 179.3.2, 308.2, 313 and 213.2.2 (tax evasion, in a large amount).