Trial proceeds for Azerbaijani ministry’s ex-official charged with embezzlement

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13 January 2017

The Baku Court of Grave Crimes on Friday continued the trial in the criminal case involving Vidadi Zeynalov, head of the Office of the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies, and other people arrested alongside him.

 

Witness Farzali Farzaliyev testified at the trial presided over by judge Afgan Hajiyev.

 

Farzaliyev, former head of the Sabirabad district telephone exchange, confirmed his testimony given during the preliminary investigation, noting that he had signed documents for the purchase of materials but he had not taken part in this process.

 

The lawyers asked the court to read out his testimony given during the preliminary investigation. At that time, Farzaliyev felt bad and fainted. A break was announced.   

 

Following the break, Akbar Asgarov was questioned as a witness.

 

Asgarov, former chief accountant of the Shirvan district telephone exchange, said nearly ninety percent of the allocated funds were returned to Aztelekom LLC.

 

“About 12 million manats have been allocated to our telephone exchange within five years. We had 10 percent of the funds. I have given the rest to Ogtay Rustamov,” he added.

 

Defendant Ogtay Rustamov dismissed Asgarov’s testimony as baseless, claiming that he had never taken money from him.

 

For his part, defendant Vidadi Zeynalov said: “Asgarov said the money was returned back. Then how the work was carried out there?”

 

The judge, in turn, mentioned that the witness said this work was carried out by ten percent of the money.

 

A lawyer of another defendant Namazali Mammadov filed a petition, asking the court to allow his defendant to attend the funeral of his brother who had died recently.

 

The judge said he has no authority to take such a decision.

 

Yashar Babayev, former chief accountant of the Sabirabad district telephone exchange, confirmed the testimony he had given during the preliminary investigation, noting that a part of funds received from Aztelekom LCC was returned back.

 

“I don’t know the reason. I was doing what ordered the chief. We were carrying out documentation. He was giving me 50-100 manats in holidays, while going to wedding ceremonies in addition to my salary,” he added.

 

His testimony to the investigation was read out. According to his testimony, he was receiving 1,000 manats from the chief.

 

The witness refused it. “If I was receiving such amount of money per month, I wouldn’t have debts to three banks. It may be a mechanical mistake. He gave me 50-100 manats in holidays,” he said.

 

Faig Jafarov, former head of Aztelekom’s financial department, said the department’s job was to prepare a prognosis of financial reports and a statistical report. Jafarov told the prosecutor that Namazali Mammadov did his job without a problem.

 

“Problems arose while Namazali was working in Ganja. We prepared statistical reports and found out that the materials purchased came out more expensive than their market price. So we reported it to the management. Generally, I used to report to Muhammad Mammadova for the assessment of accomplished works,” he added.  

 

The testimony given by the witness during the preliminary investigation was read out.

 

The testimony states that Mammadov had shortcomings with his work: "Because of these shortcomings the contract with Mammadov was canceled. However, the Ministry of Communications ordered that the contract be signed again. That’s why “Aztelekom” suffered a large sum of damage,” said the witness.

 

The witness also said that his statements were misunderstood and interpreted differently.

 

Faig Jafarov said that the order worth 200,000 manats was divided into four parts of 50 manats and separate tenders were launched for each fifty. However, he was unable to explain the reason for the division of the amount.

 

Businessman Yashar Aliyev said that he worked for Aztelekom on the basis of a contract. The witness said that he gave 35 percent of the money to chief accountant Ogtay Rustamov.

 

Ogtay Rustamov refuted the testimony, stressing that he never received money from him.

 

Sahib Aliyev, a nephew of former chairman of Aztelekom Mahammad Mammadov, also testified in the process. He confirmed the testimony he had given during the preliminary investigation.

 

The trial will be resumed on Jan. 18.  

 

A series of investigative operations had discovered that in 2009-2015, the director general of Baku Telephone Network Production Association Beytulla Huseynov, entered into a criminal conspiracy with the director of “Bakı Rabite Temir Tikinti” and “Temir Techizat Servis” companies Bayram Valiyev, the director of "3 nomreli Rabite Temir Tikinti” and “Rabite Mulki Tikinti” companies Emin Mammadov and the chief accountant of the Baku Telephone Network Production Association Anar Mustafayev, gave them a project for the implementation of works on the new telephone lines and installation of new equipment. According to the agreement concluded between them, 35-45% are listed on the accounts of these companies means then had to be returned in cash to Beytullah Huseynov. After that Beytullah Huseynov, abusing official powers and organizing sham tenders issued forged documents, which indicated that the work for the fiber-optic lines for the Internet were carried out by companies controlled by him, though in reality, these works were carried out by local telephone networks. Because of these machinations Beytulla Huseynov misappropriated 21,379,000 of 71,263 million manats, transfers to accounts controlled by him LLC. However, investigators have reason to suspect that the head of the ministry's Office, Vidadi Zeynalov, processing government orders to close the company itself and increasing their value by 4-5 times, misappropriated 73.59 million manats.

 

The investigation revealed cases of appropriation of budgetary funds and forgery in “Aztelekom” LLC, “AzÄ°nTelekom” LLC, Center for information and calculations, “Optik Rabite Tikinti ve Qurashdırma”.

 

The director general of Baku Telephone Network Production Association Beytulla Huseynov, the director of “Bakı Rabite Temir Tikinti” and “Temir Techizat Servis” companies Bayram Valiyev, the director of "3 nomreli Rabite Temir Tikinti” and “Rabite Mulki Tikinti” companies Emin Mammadov and the chief accountant of the Baku Telephone Network Production Association Anar Mustafayev are charged under articles 179.3.2 (embezzlement on a large scale), 308.2 (abuse of power) and 313 (forgery) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.

 

Head of the Ministry Vidadi Zeynalov, general director of LLC "AzİnTelekom" Jalil Jafarov, the general director of LLC "Azerpocht" Gambar Beybalaevu, Director LLC "Optik Rabite, Tikinti ve Qurashdırma" Namazaly Mammadov faced charges under articles 179.3.2 and 308.2, and chief accountant of the Company Sahrab Humbetov - under articles 179.3.2, 308.2 and 313. For all of those persons elected to the arrest as a preventive measure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED