Journalist Mushfig Huseynov’s final words in the court

January 23rd, 2008
It has already been 6 months that I am kept under arrest unlawfully.

And during all this period NSM (National Security Ministry), Chief Prosecutor’s office and the Ministry of Labor and Social Security of the Population have been conducting one-sided defamation and smear campaign against me. But finally they have come to the end of the “wall” and have nothing to hold onto anymore.  During this court process the truth partially emerged even if not in full details, and I will bring the whole bare truth into your attention today.
Immediately after my arrest NSM and Chief Prosecutor’s office spread information stating that they allegedly had found disgraceful material on my computer about the high-rank officials of Ministry of Labor and Social Security of the Population. Later within the framework of the investigation the memory of my computer had been searched, a protocol on this search had been written and added to the investigation materials. I am going to cite from the protocol, “Nothing significant for the investigation was found on Mushfig Huseynov’s computers.” I don't know, maybe there’s no need to comment additionally on this shameful action of law-defense bodies. But I think there’s a great need for exposition of dirty intentions behind these smear campaigns. So National Security Ministry and Chief Prosecutor’s office could clearly see that there was no crime in my actions, and sooner or later the details of this scandalous operation would be uncovered publicly. That is why the government wanted to use the situation at least for a short period of time; because at the meantime (at the end of July 2007) the demand for release of imprisoned journalists was an actual and harsh topic. In such a situation not thinking about the consequences National Security Ministry and Chief Prosecutor’s office impudently and with no responsibility had been slandering me on allegedly having “disgraceful material” on my computer. They wanted to form an opinion that allegedly I had been blackmailing Rizvan Aliyev with those materials. If in fact I committed a crime “receiving bribe” then why were they spreading false information about me? Why couldn’t they introduce exactly the crime I had allegedly committed? It turns out they had to spread false information since they didn’t have any “useful fact” under their hand and later were forced to record this as lie.
But what happened in reality? Once in March and once in April last year I wrote articles criticizing the activities of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security of Population. After the second article the press secretary of the Ministry called me and said that he wanted to see me. We met somewhere close to our editorial office, to be exact in front of Constitutional Court. First Elnur Kelenterli stated that I should have contacted and asked them about their opinions before publishing those articles. I accepted his opinion and even told him that this was interesting for us. Then Elnur Kelenterli took a bunch of money out of his pocket and put it between the seats in his car. Then he said, “I am talking to you on behalf of Rizvan Aliyev, Head of Administration; Say the name of the information source for the Ministry, take the money and leave.” I first told him that I didn’t know the name of the information source from the Ministry and I got the information from a regular person who is not in their interest. Then I reminded him that he was a journalist as well and knew what “name” the journalists who betray the information source deserve. Then Elnur told me that he understood and asked me to learn their opinion anytime I got critical information. Interestingly, in his statement attached to the investigation materials Elnur expressed that allegedly I had offered to see him; allegedly we had met close to the Ministry and allegedly to stop publishing those articles I had demanded for money. But unexpectedly Elnur admitted that in fact he himself had called me and asked me to ask for their opinions on those articles. Answering questions from my lawyers he also stated twice, “Mushfig Huseynov never asked me for money.” When asked by my lawyers he also confirmed that he was first to ask me about information source, but explained this with his own curiosity. Starting that time they started to constantly pressure against me to learn the information source.
After the conversation with Elnur an unfamiliar person called me and asked the name of the information source and told me to say the amount I wanted for this. When I told him that I wouldn’t talk about anything like this he said, “This won’t end peacefully.” That is why I wanted to see Elnur to clarify this problem. Elnur swore that he was unaware of this threat and that he would have found and seen me instead if he wanted. I found his argument sound but I told him I would publish information on this call. But Elnur asked me to leave this behind because somebody might have been trying to cause some confusion. Then he asked me to contact Rizvan Aliyev in case I couldn’t find him for opinions on materials. Later I learned that he had asked me to do so because he had a trip to USA. After a while, on the 11th of June, while preparing a critical article I entered the Ministry and asked for Elnur Kelenterli. Someone told me that he was “on leave.” Then I approached the police on duty and introduced myself. I told the police that I wanted to see Rizvan Aliyev. The policeman showed me the elevator after speaking on the phone and told me to get up to the 8th floor. I did as I was told. And after informing Rizvan Aliyev his assistant invited me to the room. I told him that Elnur Kelenterli had told me to contact him to get opinions on articles. I introduced the critical material to him. After reading for a while he said that those facts had already been published in our newspaper. I told him that there were new facts below and I needed his opinions. At this point Rizvan Aliyev handed me the paper and asked me to underline the new facts. I highlighted the new facts and added “new facts” note there. Then he asked me to write the name of the newspaper on the sheet and leave it there for him. I didn’t object and left the copy for him. Rizvan Aliyev read it and said that the facts were exaggerated. I asked him how to express his opinion and he told me to write that those facts were false. Then he started to discuss with me; he said that corruption existed here also but these cases existed in USA, Britain or France as well. I added that it existed in those countries but that wasn’t a tendency for those countries. At that time Agajan Ahmadov whom I have known for a long time and who used to work at the Ministry of Economic Development entered the room. Rizvan noticed that we knew each other well and asked me to wait in the waiting room for 5 minutes. I left and after about 20 minutes Agajan Ahmadov came out and invited me to his room. He started talking to me there and told me that he would talk openly since we were old acquaintances. He asked about the amount to stop writing critical articles. I told him that it didn’t depend on me and I was out of capability and interest to stop articles on an entire area. Then he said that we could talk about this later and asked me about the information source. He said, “If you tell us the name of the information source Rizvan Aliyev will give you five thousand USD.” I again told him that I didn’t know the source of information in the Ministry but the person who gives me the information is a casual person and wouldn’t be an interest to them. Then he went on telling me to talk to that person and to ask for the amount he wants to tell them the name of the information source. I told him that I didn’t want to join this kind of conversations and reminded him, “Say your opinions and I leave.” Then Agajan Ahmadov said, “We have known each other for a long time and want to explain the situation for you. The same person passes the information to other newspapers as well. We want this person to delay the distribution of this information for a day. We are negotiating with such and such newspaper.” Agajan Ahmadov mentioned the name of the newspaper but I won’t say it here. But the name of the newspaper is in the investigation materials. Agajan Ahmadov then said, “We are certain that the abovementioned newspaper hasn’t got the information yet. And we want to talk with them before this information reaches that newspaper. You know the editor of this newspaper well. It will be hard to negotiate with him if he gets this information. We want to come to an agreement on not writing before the information reaches him.” Then he asked me to talk to the person who delivers the information and ask him about how much he wants for one day delay. I asked him, “What does this mean? Let’s suppose that he will delay the information for one day if you pay him. Are you going to hand out money to all the newspapers?” He said, “I don’t know. Rizvan is insisting that this is minister’s instruction; it should be blocked.” I told him that I couldn’t interfere with his cooperation with other newspapers. At this point Agajan Ahmadov said, “Rizvan Aliyev is ready to give him 2000 (two thousand) USD. Help us and you will get your own reward and your portion will be higher.” Then a person unfamiliar to me entered the room, greeted both of us and sat down. Agajan Ahmadov mentioned that he wasn’t a stranger and worked there. And he continued the same discussion. I repeatedly told him that I didn’t want to interfere with this problem. Then Agajan Ahmadov left the room, returned after 5 minutes and told me that Rizvan Aliyev wanted to see me again. I didn’t object and entered his room. Rizvan Aliyev said, “If the amount Agajan is offering is not enough you might be able to learn how much they want. Then Rizvan Aliyev spoke lengthily, praised me and “Bizim Yol” newspaper and repeated the same requests. I insisted that I didn’t want to participate in those games. Then he asked me how much I wanted not to write this article. I told him that this wasn’t up to me since I had already introduced the article to the newspaper and it was accepted by the head of the newspaper and agreed to publication. Although he repeatedly told me to say outright the amount that I might have in my mind I never agreed and left the room saying goodbye. Agajan Ahmadov talked to me briefly in the corridor and told me that they put aside the talk about one day delay. And then once again he asked me to help them in source issue and to not publish the article in our newspaper. And I every time stated that these things didn’t depend on me. After holding me there for 4 hours I left the Ministry ignoring Agajan Ahmadov’s insistence. Approximately 15 minutes later I was close to the editorial office and walking by the monument of Natavan when Agajan Ahmadov called me and said, “You need to take advantage of this. Don’t let this chance slip through your fingers. Help us to find the information source and you’ll get your own reward. He even invited me back to the Ministry. But I reminded him that it was 9pm and I had work to do at the editorial office. A little later he called again and told me not to write in any case. I again told him that it wasn’t up to me and that the article had been made into pages. Towards the end he was angry and said, “Write whatever you want, but this is foolish from your side.”
All these happened on June 11 last year (11 June 2007) and those critical articles have been published in the following issues of “Bizim Yol” newspaper. One day after our meeting Rizvan Aliyev sent a doctor we both know to solicit me. The same conversations were repeated again with him. One day after this a stranger came to the editorial office and said, “I am talking to you on behalf of the minister. I am serious; say the name of the source and ask for the amount you desire.” I asked him to present an ID showing that he was representing the Ministry but he tried to change the subject of the conversation. Then I told him that I wouldn’t talk to him. At the end he said, “Don’t get yourself into trouble,” and left. After this I was out of patience. I called the abovementioned doctor and said, “Please, do tell Rizvan Aliyev to leave me alone.” I also informed the assistant editor Elchin Rustamli and told him that I wanted to publish the information in the newspaper. He agreed, and in the article published on June 14, 3 days after our meeting with Rizvan Aliyev, I demanded the authorities of this ministry to put an end to money offers and to the pressures against me on revealing the name of the information source or I would appeal to law-defense organs. Please, think for a little bit; how come, how could I ask for money when (at the same time) I publicly declared that they stop these talks?!
Finally it was clear that Rizvan Aliyev had appealed to NSM on 18th of July. In his application he stated that on 11th of June I allegedly requested 5000 (five thousand) USD for revealing the name of the information source and 2000 (two thousand) USD for delaying the article for one day. Can you imagine? I allegedly came to a high-rank government official and told him that if they pay 2000 (two thousand) USD to me the article would be published one day later, if not it would be published the next day. I think I needed to be mentally ill to offer something like that.
Rizvan Aliyev stated this improbable fiction in his application. The employee of NSM has stated in his expression that Rizvan Aliyev had asked them to conduct some measures to confirm the facts shown in the application.
So NSM had conducted an operation to confirm the 2 facts indicated in the application; the facts that I allegedly asked for 5000 (five thousand) USD for revealing the name of the information source and 2000 (two thousand) USD for one day delay of the article on the 11th of June last year. In the morning of July 19th Rizvan Aliyev called me and told me that he wanted to see me. I reminded him that there was no need for a meeting if the old talks were going to be repeated. He said, “No, there’s something that worries me and I want to consult with you.” I agreed and we met in the afternoon. We already know that this meeting was video recorded with secret cameras. Later experts of Ministry of Justice had conducted phonoscope expertise (on voice of the recording) and printed out the stenograph of our talks, signed, sealed and presented to the investigation. Although there are some misinterpretations for favor of Rizvan Aliyev and against me in the stenograph it reflects the reality in general. As we can see from this stenograph not only the facts in Rizvan Aliyev’s application haven’t been confirmed but also the facts that he offered me money during our first meeting on June 11th and that I refused and didn’t accept this offer have been confirmed in his own words. I understand that honored judges will indicate in the sentence that my words are said for self defense. That is why I am far off from proving my innocence blindly. I am proving my innocence citing Rizvan Aliyev’s words taken from stenograph signed and sealed by the Ministry of Justice.
Here’s a citation from Rizvan Aliyev, “during your first visit, when we met I told you to have some friendship. But you told me today and tomorrow…” This means, “I asked you friendly to help us and delay the article for one day today but you still published it the next day.” Now I am going to cite from my own speech, “What power does the newspaper has to harm Rizvan Aliyev?” This was my position. I told him that in fact the newspaper’s interest was to attract readers’ attention and to get more readers-5 more readers, 50 more readers. You can clearly see that during our first meeting my aim has been to move him away from offering money. That is why I have told him that the newspaper articles weren’t a danger to him. And I want to additionally say that this was my position. But Rizvan Aliyev claims that I had been blackmailing him. Can you see any blackmailing signs in this? Would a journalist who is blackmailing someone say that the only interest of a newspaper is to attract more readers’ attention? This means, “Keep the money to yourself. Our interest is purely journalist’s interest.” Then he complains about a newspaper the name of which I wouldn’t want to reveal. I am going to cite, “You know, he may have come and tell me to buy some cards for his phone or do something for him. But he comes here and suddenly starts…” I reply, “I swear, this is not up to me. You possibly may think I with some people…” I explain to him that I don’t have any relation to anybody within the ministry and I don’t pass the information to that newspaper. Then Rizvan Aliyev says, “Last time I found you as a sincere person. That is why I told you. You might see, I talked to you sincerely. Anyway you may reach them, learn the sum. It is up to the person, I don’t know who it is up to, anyway.” With his own words in the stenograph Rizvan Aliyev admits that he had offered me money. Here he wants to say, “If the money for one day delay we had offered last time was small you could have learned the sum from the person whom this depends on.” As you can see Rizvan Aliyev had wanted me to sound an amount during our first meeting. But I can prove that I didn’t ask for “sum” with a different citation from Rizvan Aliyev, “You may have something left in your heart, you may not tell us like last time.” Thus I hadn’t sound any amount last time. This is not my claim; these are words that came out of Rizvan’s mouth.
As I mentioned earlier Rizvan Aliyev claimed in his application I allegedly demanded for 2000 (two thousand) USD for one day delay of the article. I am going to cite from Rizvan Aliyev, “If I am not mistaken, how much did we mention for one day last time?” I reply, “The talk was about 2000, I assume?” But on the order the expertise introduced “2000” as “not heard” and left three dots there instead. Here Rizvan Aliyev once again admits that it was them who offered money. Agacan Ahmadov personally told me, “help us, and deliver this 2000 USD to the person delivering information so he delays the information for one day. You know the chief editor of that newspaper; if he gets this he will be hard to handle. We are negotiating with him.” I later learned that they talked to that chief editor through Sahib Aliyev after the information had reached the editor. That is why, as you can see from my citation above, with bringing the fact that the abovementioned newspaper wanted more money from them to my attention he demonstrated that he felt hurt by me. I am repeating the same citation, “You know, he may have come and tell me to buy some cards for his phone or do something for him. But he comes here and suddenly starts…” I think everything is clear. Rizvan Aliyev admits with his own words that he had offered the 2000 USD for one day. And I explained this earlier with Agajan Ahmadov’s words.
In the court Agajan Ahmadov and Rizvan Aliyev claimed that I allegedly wanted 2000USD for one day delay. My lawyers asked them, “What is the meaning of holding the article back for one day and publishing it the next day?” they both answered that they didn’t know. I asked them, “Did you ask me about the meaning of one day delay for which I allegedly asked you for 2000USD?” They both answered “no”. Imagine that someone comes to you and tells you, “I am going to write an article about you. Pay me 2000USD now and I will hold it back for tomorrow but I will still publish it the next day.” Can you simply not ask about the meaning of this? Can you find an idiot in the world who wouldn’t ask for the meaning of this offer? It turns out either I am mentally ill or I have taken Rizvan Aliyev and Agajan Ahmador for idiots.
            Still you can see from Rizvan Aliyev’s words that it was them who offered me money and I refused. If I had asked for money Rizvan Aliyev would have reminded me of this under secret cameras. But in fact he was obliged to admit that he offered me money. So we could prove one of the facts shown in Rizvan Aliyev’s application as slander. Now let’s pay attention to the next slander. In his application Rizvan Aliyev claims that during our first meeting on 11th of June last year I had allegedly asked for 5000USD to reveal the name of the information source. Let’s pay some attention to some examples from the stenograph. Rizvan Aliyev asks me, “Who gives you the information?” I reply, “As I told you, I don’t know the root of it here.” From the stenograph we can see that this is first time we are talking about the information source. But I first say, “Again as I said before.” Then I say, “I don’t know the source.” The expression of “Again as I said before,” means that I had already told Rizvan Aliyev that I didn’t know the source. Besides, if I had wanted 5000USD for the source during our first meeting then why doesn’t he tell me, “Last time you wanted 5000USD for this, but now you say you don’t know the source.” If this operation had been carried out to confirm that I allegedly requested money from Rizvan Aliyev on June 11, why didn’t Rizvan say this openly under secret recording to denounce me?
            Rizvan Aliyev had continued to his insistence in a couple of cases here. One more example from stenograph, “Say the name of the source, and finish this problem.” My reply, “I don’t know that. But I think there’s no need for the talk about source.” I think everything is clear. Rizvan Aliyev knew about secret recording and could have used this opportunity and said to me, “why did you ask for 5000USD last time if you didn’t know the source?”
            I even reminded him in return of his offers, “Last time I told Agajan also to put this talk aside and not talk about it.”
            Finally facing my stubbornness Rizvan Aliyev loses his temper. An example from stenograph, “Hey brother, if we are having a men’s talk between us, let’s talk like men. Say who it is and let’s finish this.” Now I am going to read my reply, “The person who gives me the information wouldn’t be of interest to you. He is a regular person I know. But I don’t think he will tell us the name of person giving the information to him.” The second fact indicated by Rizvan Aliyev in the application has been confirmed as slander on the basis of stenograph. And these are not the words said blindly to defend myself. These are examples from stenograph that are signed and sealed by Ministry of Justice and are under the hands of honored judges. So it became clear that the operation of NSM was based on two facts that are characterized as slander and smear. Not only these facts weren’t confirmed but they were also refuted. Besides the fact that everything is opposite (I mean I was offered the money and I refused the offer) was proved.
            Thus after Rizvan Aliyev’s attempts to give me money were useless and unsuccessful he had tried something disgusting and had claimed that allegedly the sources in the ministry were blackmailing the Minister’s family. I am going to read the example from Rizvan Aliyev, “What should we do? To tell the truth, some information is delivered and the Minister’s family gets calls, I don’t know what. There is some information, we need to call and talk to you. What should we do? You are in my place, you have a family.” I am going to read my reply, “Mr.Rizvan, I am saying again, I may guarantee you for myself. For example, there’s a doctor I trust. He also came and talked to me. I can guarantee him for myself. Even the doctor can be a guarantor if you want. I can tell him, he knows me well, I won’t do it.” Here I am talking about the doctor Rizvan Aliyev sent to me as intercessor, and I have already given information on this earlier.  So seeing that I guaranteed that I wouldn’t publish articles on family topics disinterestedly, Rizvan Aliyev continues to his insistence. Example; “if it is so and you gesture like this and say that you won’t do so, I have to be “sure”. Here to not publish the article he wants me to ask him for money and he insists. But I am going to read my reply, “I am saying again, and I promise you like a man, and the doctor may be a guarantor that Mushfig won’t.” I even say something to calm him, “If something will be in the future I will inform you. I can even try to learn about it.” This means we hadn’t received information on family matters so far and if we will in the future I will let them know that in fact such information is being spread. Besides I tell him that I would try to find out about whether there’s a plan. There’s been no talk about money so far. I stood up to help them with the call of my honor and dignity disinterestedly. In fact I believed him and thought that Minister’s family had been blackmailed. Only during the last minutes of our meeting in the “Qurd Qapisi” restaurant I understood that this was Rizvan Aliyev’s disgusting slander against their own families, and just by my persistence he was weakened and descended to this level.
            After this Rizvan asks for the original of the article that was published in the past. “Can you give it?” My reply; “I will bring it and give it to you friendly.” Rizvan says, “Ok, what should I do as a friend?” He insists and wants me to ask him for money. I reply, “Again, I am going to give it to you as a friend from me.” Rizvan Aliyev doesn’t let it go and this time he offers openly, “what is going to be a reward for it?” My reply; “I swear I don’t want anything. I am not a racket journalist. Don’t trade.” In this case Rizvan Aliyev doesn’t see any way out and says, “Whatever you say. I simply want to be assured that this problem is over.” Seeing no way out of the situation he starts a new topic. “What to do? My worry is that they will distribute this to other newspapers.” My reply; “I understand.” Here Rizvan wants “to get something to that person so he doesn’t distribute this to other newspapers”. Seeing that I don’t mention any amount he goes ahead, “I don’t even know whether it is three or five thousand.” This means, “You may want 5 thousand, even more.” But still I didn’t mention any amount. Finally, after the same persistent insistence of Rizvan Aliyev I had agreed to give that person a 1000USD and I had told him that I would tell the person to avoid blackmailing the minister’s family. After I agreed to this he asked me, “How about yourself?” In this case I answered, “Nothing.”
            However, seeing that I didn’t sound any amount he offered additional amount for the person who delivers the information. And he explained that he wanted to be sure. I assured him from me and from the person who delivers the information with no interest. In my expressions for the investigation and for the court I have stated strongly that before returning money to Rizvan Aliyev I said, “I can’t be a guarantor for somebody else.” It was because I changed my mind at the last moment. I saw a sly smile on his face and understood that the talks about calls to the minister’s family were false. I understood that he will try to associate with me and will drag me to the same conversations about the information source in any case. I was fed up with these conversations. That is why I decided to return the money to him and write about all these in the newspaper. Saying “I can’t be a guarantor for somebody else” I had indicated that the money was considered for somebody else. But our conversation has been cut and chopped in a way as though I had wanted 2500USD for myself for mediating. However this is the additional amount Rizvan Aliyev gave to me to give to the person who delivers the information for he wanted “to be assured.” Simply he advised me to keep it to myself. But I told him that I didn’t want anything. Even the next day on July 20 during our short 3-4 minute conversation I told Rizvan Aliyev that I would give all the money to the person and if I reach an agreement I would bring him over here to you to make you sure that he received the money. The employee of NSM affirmed in the court that the number of recordings is more than two presented for the investigation. I assume our conversation on 20th of July was also recorded. Then why aren’t they among investigation materials? It is because during this conversation I told Rizvan Aliyev that “I would give all the money to that person.” But Rizvan Aliyev told me, “I am giving the 2500USD for you. You may give it to anyone you like.” That is why this recording is hidden. My next citation will be from “Qurd Qapisi”, “I talked to him and came to an agreement. He will see you.” If I wanted to make money with mediation why would I want achieve their meeting? It means I didn’t have an aim to make profit. As we can see in the stenograph, Rizvan Aliyev offered 5000USD but the conversation ended with 3500USD with the aim to deliver money to a different person. I realize I have acted like a decent man in this situation. The talk was about the dignity of a family. That is why I believe I was right to act this way. I simply couldn’t believe that there could be anyone who would use his own family as a trade object; especially when we are talking about a minister.
            Finally let’s pay a close attention to the moment where I returned money to Rizvan Aliyev. This is a very important moment. Before leaving the room I saw a sly smile on his face and understood that this “family talk” was something fabricated. I have given information about this earlier. Then I stopped and said, “I can’t be a guarantor for somebody else.” Understanding my intention Rizvan Aliyev started insisting and said, “Don’t worry. Nothing will happen.” I understood that this matter would take a longer time and the conversation on information source would be repeated again. Thinking this I nervously and sharply took the money out and threw it to the edge of the table close to Rizvan Aliyev. I couldn’t even see how the money was spread on the floor and didn’t listen what Rizvan Aliyev was trying to say. I left the room and closed the door. Then operation people took my arms squeezing to their sides and returned me to the room. Later I saw that the part where I had returned money was cut. This is a very simple montage element and as a person who uses computer I can also perform this work. Don’t forget that NSM (National Security Ministry), Chief Prosecutor’s office and the Ministry of Labor and Social Security of the population have worked on this with their enormous resources. Regardless of all these they still couldn’t gloss over their own disgrace and shame. Although they have cut the part where I returned money they haven’t been able to fit anything in there. In the end the accuser side can’t explain how the money ended on the floor. Our question remained unanswered although they demonstrated the video recording. The prosecutor said that it was demonstrated on TV. First of all the broadcast of this on TV was unlawful. Secondly, why haven’t you introduced that recording shown on TV to the court if it proves anything? It turns out it was an unsuccessful montage work. Although I requested presentation of the episode where the money falls on the floor they couldn’t show anything. As a result the investigation had worked on the fabricated material, and controversial moments have emerged. In the confrontation protocol Rizvan Aliyev has shown that the NSM operators entered the room during the meeting and I have allegedly thrown money upon seeing them. In the accusation act they have referred to this expression. But anyone can see from footage that no one has entered the room during our meeting. I have returned money and left, closed the door firmly from outside. And then I was stopped in the corridor. In his different expression Risvan Aliyev has said that I had allegedly been returned inside after leaving the room and had thrown money after that. However nobody could see these episodes either. Case witness said that I had allegedly taken the money out and thrown while I was inside and while the NSM operators were entering the room. But after my lawyer Vugar Khasayev asked him questions he had to admit that he hadn’t seen how I threw the money. Also, everything was recorded in the initial protocol and it was indicated that I had stopped after moving toward the door and taken out money and thrown to the side where Rizvan was and left the room. It was indicated in the protocol that the NSM operators discovered money on the “bottom”. I even protested for the word “bottom”, but they said it stood for “floor”. You are a journalist; that is why you notice it. But don’t worry. The word “bottom” stayed as it was and I signed the original protocol reflecting the truth. Later I saw the protocol among investigation materials and read it. Here the word “bottom” was changed to “floor” and there was written that I had allegedly thrown the money on the floor upon seeing the NSM operators entering the room. My signature in the protocol was clearly falsified. I have signed a couple of investigation materials, but the signature on the second page of the protocol is completely different. Especially the last stroke of the signature clearly pokes your eyes and simply looking at it you may notice that it is faked. However the investigation side couldn’t demonstrate the episode fabricated in the protocol in the form of video recording. The truth has one face and if everyone said the truth everyone’s opinion would complete one another. Since they have been telling lies all the time three versions about my throwing the money on the floor have been fabricated. I demanded the investigation side to demonstrate the video recording of at least one of the versions. But they couldn’t do it either. It is because I have voluntarily returned money and this episode has been cut. As a result a mystical case came out. I mean, the money disappears in one place and appears in a different place. During the investigation period I always stressed this episode where I returned money repeatedly. “If the argument presented by the defendant side cannot be disproved then it is considered proved. If you think I am lying then demonstrate the video recording of at least one of your fabricated versions.” In short here also we could prove that we are right.
            And Agajan Ahmadov told me that we knew each other for more than five years but I never asked him for money. You could see from the stenograph that I refused all Rizvan Aliyev’s offers. You could also see that Rizvan Aliyev had tried every possible way to give me money. Nothing worked. But he was weakened to the degree that slandered their own families. Listening to the sound of my dignity I agreed to help him in delivering money to a different person. You could see from the stenograph that Rizvan Aliyev admits that he told me “you can reach him, learn the amount,” but I refused to mediate; because at the time the talk was about the source and critical articles. But this time they took out a topic about a family’s dignity and I think every single man would act the same way as I did. It doesn’t matter whether the talk is about a simple worker’s or a minister’s family; I took a right step. We attempted questioning but the opposite side ignored every question and kept saying, “I don’t know,” “I don’t remember.”  There’s nothing that I should be ashamed of. To be short the case is not about my receiving bribe but is in my turning it down. Had I accepted Rizvan Aliyev’s bribe offer during our first meeting and had I stopped writing critical articles they wouldn’t order my arrest. But with examples from the stenograph with Rizvan Aliyev’s own words I proved that I refused his bribe offers.
            The investigation was carried out with hostility and prejudice. Elnur Kelenterli confirmed here differently from his expression from investigation materials that I never asked him for money. Although the judge counted it a small detail, Agajan Ahmadov admitted that he has known me for a long time and he had my phone number beforehand. Rizvan Aliyev also admitted here that he got my phone number from him. However the investigation was claiming that allegedly I had given my phone number to them and told them that I would expect their call until night. This cannot be considered a small detail because this also shows that the investigation had partial and biased position against me in all cases.
            In the end I want to thank all my colleagues who believed that I was innocent during all this period. I assume the voice of those is stronger. I want to separately thank to those who have been moral support to me.
            There’s no crime content in my action. Any sentence other than justification is made to order. I know that this case is ordered. I don’t beg anyone for mercy and I am not afraid of any arrest term; because there’s an order and the order has to be fulfilled. I haven’t got money for myself. Simply I have been invited to protect the dignity of a family and I have tried to act like a man.
            I want to thank you as well regardless of what decision you’ll make. You tried to respect our rights whenever you could.
            In the end I want to let you know that the protection of my rights will continue in all levels and I will fight and achieve the punishment for Azerbaijan government by the European Human Rights Court.