Former International Bank Chairman’s Trial Continues with Witness Testimonies


On September 19, Baku Grave Crimes Court chaired by Judge Afgan Hajiyev continued the hearing on the criminal case of the former chairman of the Board of Azerbaijan International Bank OJSC Jahangir Hajiyev and 7 other men, including former directors of the Bank’s main branch Yusif Alakbarov and Anar Sultanov, former head of the main branch Ilgar Abdullayev, General Director of Inter Security LLC – the company in charge of the protection of the Bank’s administrative buildings – Ibrahim Huseynov, former director of the Bank’s transport branch Kanan Orujov, former director of the Bank’s Narimanov branch Mammad Jahangirov who currently chairs AFB Bank OJSC’s Supervisory Board and Baku Hazelnut Factory’s former director Azad Javadov.

Reminding the decision made at the previous hearing to bring 6 witnesses before the court by force, Judge Afgan Hajiyev said the court had received documents on the fact that those persons were abroad, but added that the witnesses’ testimonies would be announced.

Defendant Jahangir Hajiyev’s lawyer Agil Layijov objected to the witness testimonies being read out.

The other lawyers and public prosecutor Farid Nagiyev said they were not against the witness testimonies being announced.

The judge read out the testimonies of the witnesses.

In his testimony, witness Vugar Sadigov identified himself as an employee of Inter Security Company and noted that 550,000 AZN had been borrowed in his name, though he had never seen the money but simply signed documents.

Another witness by name Tarlan Ismayilov had testified that he knew defendant Mammad Jahangirov, and once when he was at the bank for another matter Mammad Jahangirov requested his identity card. The witness further noted that a 300,000-AZN loan had been taken in his name. According to his words, he had not received a phone call regarding the loan until 2014.

Witness Adalat Muradov had written in his witness statement that during the search of Azad Javadov’s country house, a cartridge and a weapon were found under his bed in addition to a set of swords and a shotgun discovered in the house. According to the witness, when the weapons were detected Azad Javadov said the pistol did not belong to him and he had a licence for the shotgun. The witness had added that Azad Javadov had refused to sign the search record.

Witness Ayaz Valiyev, a senior inspector of the Chamber of Control of Financial Markets, had noted in his affidavit that an inspection had been carried out in connection with the loans issued by the International Bank to natural persons, including the expenditure and repayment of the money withdrawn via the credit cards in the names of Jahangir Hajiyev and his relatives. During the inspection, it was discovered that the requirements and procedures of the legislation on allocation of loans had not been complied with. Thus, the bank suffered a huge damage.

The judge stopped at this point and said there was no need to read out the testimonies of the remaining two witnesses as they had similar content.

Defendant Ibrahim Huseynov’s lawyer Azer Tagiyev said it was important to bring the witnesses, whose testimonies were announced, to the court.

Defendant Ibrahim Huseynov said some of the persons, who had provided testimony to the investigating agency and introduced themselves as employees of Inter Security Company which he was the head of, in reality had not worked for Inter Security. He therefore asked the court to summon and interrogate those witnesses.
Lawyer Agil Layijov in turn wanted the senior inspector of the Chamber of Control of Financial Markets to be invited. The lawyer said the inspector had both testified as a witness and provided an expert opinion, which was inadmissible.

The presiding judge replied that it was those witnesses’ inability to appear in court that made him read out their testimonies.

The judge then proceeded to the examination of the case documents, and the documents included in the case file were announced.

There was a break at the hearing, and after the break the court adjourned due to the absence of defendant Jahangir Hajiyev’s lawyer Agil Layijov and Ibrahim Huseynov’s lawyer Azer Tagiyev.

The judge said he would submit a complaint to the Bar Association against the two lawyers.

The next hearing has been set for September 21, 10.30am.

Background: Former Chairman of the Board of Azerbaijan International Bank OJSC Jahangir Hajiyev was arrested on 5 December 2015. He is charged under Articles 179.3.1 and 179.3.2 (misappropriation of a large amount of money by an organised group), 308.2 (abuse of official powers resulting in serious consequences), 309.2 (exceeding officials powers resulting in serious consequences), 313 (service forgery), and 228.1 and 228.4 (illegal acquisition, transfer, selling, storage, transportation or carrying of a weapon, its accessories, ammunition or explosives) of the Criminal Code.

The defendants are accused of misappropriating 211 million AZN.

According to the indictment bill, defendant Azad Javadov is additionally charged under Article 228.4 (possession of cold steel) of the Criminal Code due to the dagger gifted to him.

Note that Jahangir Hajiyev, Ilgar Abdullayev, Yusif Alakbarov and Ibrahim Huseynov have been ordered detained and are held on remand. Other four defendants, Anar Sultanov, Kanan Orujov, Mammad Jahangirov and Azad Javadov are on bail.

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