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Summary: Hearing 11
On 23 December, Baku Grave Crimes Court chaired by Judge Afgan Hajiyev held a hearing on the criminal case of the former senior officials of the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies. The trial proceeded with witness testimonies.
First, former chief accountant of Akey LLC Nigar Alizade testified as a witness. She noted that Akey LLC had a contract with the Cartburg Company and maintained only service cooperation with that company. Alizade said the Cartburg Company belonged to Ayaz Karimov (who was declared wanted after leaving the country due to the criminal case launched against him), a friend of former National Security Minister Eldar Mahmudov’s son Anar Mahmudov. According to her, 10,000 AZN was transferred to Akey LLC’s account on a monthly basis. The witness noted that some equipments belonging to the dissolved Ministry of National Security remained at Akey LLC.
Next, former head of Sabunchu District Telephone Exchange Nariman Salmanov took the stand. According to his testimony, quotations and tenders were organised formalistically as instructed by the management, lists were arranged in advance and funds allocated for construction work were sometimes returned to defendant Beytulla Huseynov. Salmanov stressed that tenders had been conducted in a legitimate way before Beytulla Huseynov’s appointment as the chief. According to the witness, figures were overstated and they received only 2 percent of the funds allocated for tenders. He added that they had been allocated extra funds in addition to their wages every month, which was divided among the employees.
Defendant Vidadi Zeynalov’s driver Elchin Aliyev testified as a witness. He said he was the head of P.L.Z LLC which he had founded on Vidadi Zeynalov’s advice. “Vidadi Zeynalov advised that we set up a company, and I agreed. He created the P.L.Z Company. Mr. Zeynalov always helped me to make a living,” the witness noted. According to Aliyev, he received part of the company’s income, but was unaware of its activities.
Nasimi Musayev, who had worked for AzInTelekom LLC in the capacity of an economist, testified that he had received 1,000 AZN per month in addition to his salary.
AzInTelekom LLC employee Muzaffar Rustamov said at the time the traffic capacity of RosTelecom was higher compared to Cartburg Company’s limited traffic. Nevertheless, the contract was signed with Cartburg on the instruction of former minister Ali Abbasov. At this point, former head of AzInTelekom LLC Jalil Jafarov stepped in and said he had monitored the international traffic. “Every week, I reported to minister Ali Abbasov regarding traffic flow. Once I reported to minister Ali Abbasov about traffic theft, and he told me to prevent that theft however I could. After that, Ali Abbasov acquainted me with head of Cartburg Ayaz Karimov. It was decided that we should work with them. They were supposed to bring traffic to the country, and thus the theft would be prevented,” he said.
The next hearing was set for December 28, 10.30am.
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).