Trial Underway for Senior Officials of Communications Ministry


Summary: Hearing 7

  • • Lawyer Ilham Gubadov joined defendant Jalil Jafarov’s defence team;
    • Defendant Mahammad Mammadov testified;
    • Defendant Oktay Rustamov recanted his investigation statement.

On 9 December, Baku Grave Crimes Court, chaired by Judge Afgan Hajiyev, held a hearing on the criminal case against the 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.

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).

The judge first declared that lawyer Ilham Gubadov of Legal Advice Office #1 joined the defence team of Jalil Jafarov.

After that, Director General of Aztelekom LLC Mahammad Mammadov testified. “I fully confirm my statement provided to the investigative agency and I am ready to take questions,” the defendant said.

Vidadi Zeynalov’s lawyer Jeyhun Yusifov asked the court to announce Mahammad Mammadov’s investigation statement. Judge Afgan Hajiyev read out the statement.

After that, Zeynalov’s other lawyer Elmar Suleymanli asked a question to Mahammad Mammadov. “You have mentioned in your statement that the Ministry has transferred a total of 26.3 million manat to the call centres in Shirvan, Sabirabad and Gabala regions. Do you have a proof of it,” the lawyer asked. The defendant replied that the funds had been allocated in accordance with projects and relevant work had been performed. He added that the transfers had been documented and the funds had been spent on the instructions of the Ministry. The defendant said the loan taken from the bank was used for the construction of the technology park in Sumgayit.

During the hearing, an argument broke out between Vidadi Zeynalov’s lawyer Jeyhun Yusifov and Mahammad Mammadov’s lawyer Shahin Rafiyev, who accused each other. The judge warned Shahin Rafiyev, and the warning was included in the hearing transcript.

Thereafter, Aztelekom LLC’s chief accountant Oktay Rustamov testified. “I did not have any relations with Vidadi Zeynalov. The company, which I was the chief accountant of, was regularly audited by the Ministry of Taxes, the Ministry of Finance, the Chamber of Accounts, and the Chamber of Auditors, and no violations were found. As for the charges brought against me under Articles 179.3.1 and 179.3.2 of the Criminal Code, I want to say that I had not been entrusted any state property and there were no evasions in accounting. As for the charges under Article 308.2, the finances were managed by the general director and his deputies. Regarding the charges under Article 313 (service forgery); again, the audits prove that there have been no deviations. Overstatement of the work volume or exaggeration of prices was not within my competence,” Oktay Rustamov said.

Public prosecutor Farid Nagiyev argued that the defendant’s testimony was inconsistent with his statement. When the judge read out Rustamov’s statement, it appeared that, according to the statement, Rustamov had given Vidadi Zeynalov 200,000 manat per month. Rustamov did not confirm his investigation statement. In response to his lawyer Safar Huseynov’s question, he said he did not consider himself guilty of the charges.

Vidadi Zeynalov’s lawyer Jeyhun Yusifov filed a motion saying that his client had not been served with the indictment. The public prosecutor presented a copy of the indictment to Vidadi Zeynalov.

The next hearing was set for 14 December, 10 am.

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