‘Communications Case’: Vidadi Zeynalov Refuses to Testify

February 3rd, 2017

  • ➢ Defendant Vidadi Zeynalov said he would not testify until former minister Ali Abbasov came to court and testified;
    ➢ The judge ordered that the witnesses be compulsorily brought before the tribunal.

On 3 February, Baku Grave Crimes Court, chaired by Judge Afgan Hajiyev, held a hearing on the criminal case against the former Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies (MCHT) Vidadi Zeynalov and many others. The other defendants include 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.

At the hearing, it was announced that the witnesses called failed to turn up. The judge said despite his order to bring the non-compliant witnesses compulsorily, but the witnesses did not answer the phone calls.

Recall, that unlike other defendants, who had testified at previous hearings, Vidadi Zeynalov said he would testify only after the victims and witnesses testified. At today’s proceedings, Vidadi Zeynalov once again refused to testify. He noted that he would not testify until former minister Ali Abbasov came to court and testified.

Today, an argument occurred between former MCHT Chief of Staff Vidadi Zeynalov’s lawyer and former Aztelekom LLC Director General Mahammad Mammadov’s lawyers before the start of the hearing over the disclosure of the list of Zeynalov’s attached property to the media. The list includes 67 pieces of property of the former chief of staff worth AZN 43 million in total. Zeynalov’s lawyers claim that the information was passed to the media by Mammadov’s lawyer Shahin Rafiyev, an allegation which Rafiyev denies.

The proceedings will continue on 8 February.

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).