Questioning of prosecution witnesses finalized


On May 12, the trial on the case of the chairman of Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center (EMDS) Anar Mammadli, EMDS executive director Bashir Suleymanli and head of a partner NGO, Elnur Mammadli continued in Baku Court on Grave Crimes.
The first witness to appear in the stand was Alishan Mirzayev, developer of “election portal” website, who confirmed building the website and receiving fee for his service.
Former EMDS employee Avtandil Mammadov testified as a witness and he cooperated with the organization during elections and was paid for his service.
Tax Inspector of the Tax Audit Department under the Ministry of Taxes, Rafail Agayev said that as the grant agreement between the National Democratic Institute and EMDS had not been registered by the Ministry of Justice, they did not consider it grant, so subjected these funds to VAT.
Senior Advisor of the State Financial Control Service of the Ministry of Finance, Sabir Mammadov said they had wrote an opinion about funds received by the organization and their withdrawal, and interviewed the persons who had given statements to the investigation.

Haji Alasgarov, a co-founder of the Volunteers International Cooperation Public Union, told the court that he had participated in the general meetings of the organization and signed the documents himself.

Asef Ahmadov, EMDS coordinator in Ganja city, testified as a witness confirming his cooperation with the organization in all projects and receiving salary.

Anar Mammadli, head of the NGO EMDS, was detained on 16 December 2013, on charges of running business without registration, tax evasion and abuse of office by influencing election results. He was sent to pretrial detention straight away, while the two other accused, EMDS executive director Bashir Suleymanli and Volunteers International Cooperation public union director Elnur Mammadov were prohibited to leave Baku until trial. On March 19, the accused faced additional charges of service forgery and appropriation of property.

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