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During a speech during the hearing, Azadliq newspaper and Azadliq.info LLC’s representative Samad Rahimli stated the following: “Deputy Prosecutor General Rustam Usubov has submitted a recommendation to Nasimi District Court based on the petition of the Serious Crimes Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office with regard to Faig Amirli’s case. The recommendation reads that the tax affairs of Azadliq newspaper and Azadliq.info LLC, where Faig Amirli held an office, need to be checked in order to investigate the elements of a tax crime in connection with Faig Amirli’s case. On 18 November 2016, Nasimi District Court issued a decision granting this recommendation and tasked the Ministry of Taxes with conducting tax audits covering the period of 2010-2016. However, as an involved party, Azadliq was not informed of this decision. The Baku City Department for Work with Small Business under the Ministry of Taxes, which is the legal successor of the Baku City Tax Department, decided to conduct a tax audit for the aforementioned time period.”
“Azadliq newspaper and Azadliq.info LLC appealed to the Baku Administrative Economic Court #1 disputing the department’s decision. It was at this point when the information about the proceedings in Nasimi District Court was received. Nasimi District Court’s decision was appealed. After this decision was upheld by the Baku Court of Appeal, the Administrative Economic Court requested leave in order to revise the lawsuit. In particular, it was demanded that the tax audit of Azadliq newspaper cover 2013-2016 and that of Azadliq.info LLC cover a period starting from 2015, the year of its establishment. The request was substantiated by the fact that, according to Article 36 of the Tax Code, on-site tax inspections should cover the last 3 years of activity. A 6-year audit is in contradiction to both the principle of legal certainty and the legislation itself,” the lawyer said.
At the end of his speech, lawyer Samad Rahimli asked the court to grant the lawsuit.
However, following a brief deliberation, Judge Elchin Mammadov ruled to reject the lawsuit.