Three Defendants Pay Damages Caused to Ministry of Communications

April 28th, 2017

> The Ministry of Communications has sent in a letter which reads that Emin Mammadov, Sahrab Humbatov and Namazali Mammadov have fully paid the monetary damages caused by them to the Ministry, so the Ministry no longer has any civil claim against them;

> The court has received a letter from defendant Beytulla Huseynov’s brother Ramiz Huseynov demanding that the arrest imposed on his property due to his brother be lifted;

> The other defendants’ lawyers lodged a motion to conduct an expert review arguing that the amount mentioned in the indictment bill had been exaggerated. The motion was denied;

> Defendant Vidadi Zeynalov again refused to testify.

On 28 April, Baku Grave Crimes Court, chaired by Judge Afgan Hajiyev, continued the proceedings in the criminal case against the former Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies (MCHT) 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.

Defendant Emin Mammadov’s lawyer Vugar Khasayev presented a letter from the Ministry of Communications. The letter says defendants Emin Mammadov, Sahrab Humbatov and Namazali Mammadov have fully paid the monetary damages caused to the Ministry of Communications, and there is no civil claim against them now that the damages have been redressed.

The judge pointed out a difference in the amounts, but as the civil plaintiff’s representative was not in attendance, he said ‘The Ministry’s representative needs to come to the hearing and give an explanation on the issue’.

The judge then noted that defendant Beytulla Huseynov’s brother Ramiz Huseynov had applied to the court by letter. According to the letter, Ramiz Huseynov’s property including a house in Shamakhi region and a land plot in Nizami district of Baku were also seized during the attachment of Beytulla Huseynov’s property. Emphasising that the above property had nothing to do with Beytulla Huseynov, the letter asked for the arrest to be lifted from them.

Defendant Vidadi Zeynalov’s lawyers Elkhan Suleymanov and Jeyhun Yusifov requested the court to give them time to organise the defence comprehensively. Jeyhun Yusifov said the essence of the indictment was not fully clear to them as yet and lodged a motion to conduct an expert evaluation. “I have read the indictment bill 74 times. On the fourth page, they themselves contend the amount written on the first page. We, therefore, lodged motions earlier so that the persons, who have calculated those amounts, come and testify in court to make things clear. The calculations have been exaggerated. They have also included VAT in the 153-million-AZN accusation. Of this, 23 million AZN is VAT. They accuse Vidadi Zeynalov of being behind everything. Actually, Vidadi Zeynalov was not the giver but a receiver of envelope salary. We have filed motions for an expert review and for the money to be calculated correctly,” the lawyer noted.

Defendant Anar Mustafayev’s lawyer Gulshan Salmanova also noted that the amounts in the indictment against her client had been inflated. “An 867,000-AZN accusation has been brought against Anar Mustafayev. I cannot understand where they have got this figure from. An expert analysis should be done so that these issues are clarified,” she said.

Defendant Beytulla Huseynov said his investigation statements had been tampered with. “In the statement, they have written what they wanted to write not what I actually spoke. They have put down a 10-million-AZN embezzlement to me. Honestly, if we sit down and they prove this amount to me, I’ll agree to pay that damage. They have exaggerated the figures to such an extent that, it looks as if it was me who was the minister,” Huseynov noted.

Public prosecutor Farid Nagiyev requested that the lawyers’ motions regarding an expert review be denied. The jury rejected the motions.

Vidadi Zeynalov’s lawyer Baylar Mamishov said the indictment contains 74 pages and one sentence regarding Zeynalov. “At the end, they make accusations like 7 million, 10 million and 153 million. Which of them is about Vidadi Zeynalov? Which damage should he pay and to whom? I suggest that the public prosecutor does the calculation and comes up with a final amount,” the lawyer remarked.

After that, the judge reminded that defendant Vidadi Zeynalov had not testified so far and invited him to testify. Vidadi Zeynalov said he had hypertension and asked to testify later. “The investigator has written in the case file that Vidadi Zeynalov cooperated with the investigation since day one. You have also seen in court that it is me who sheds light on unclear things for you. Give me some time so I prepare and testify at the next proceeding,” Zeynalov said.

Vidadi Zeynalov’s lawyer Elkhan Suleymanov, in turn, said it was wrong of the Ministry of Communications to bring a civil claim in the present case. “The defendants worked for entities not included in the structure of the Ministry, but subordinate to it. The Ministry did not allocate to them money from the budget. It would have been understandable if the civil claim had been brought by Baku Telephone Communications Production Association or Azerpost LLC,” he noted.

Defendant Anar Mustafayev said he could not understand why the Ministry of Finance had drawn up an act about 153-million-AZN damages, but did not attend the trial. “I have questions to ask to them. They have inspected 84 institutions within 20 days. There is an act on inspection of 154 different products in 4 institutions. This is physically impossible. They have smashed all records. They have written that allegedly there was a 51-percent exaggeration. Let them come and explain that,” Mustafayev said.

The judge said the court itself would calculate and decide the issues related to figures. He said no expert analysis was needed for that.

The next hearing was set for 3 May, 10.30 am.

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).