Vidadi Zeynalov: I have fulfilled tasks set by ministry leadership - UPDATED
The Baku Court of Grave Crimes on Wednesday continued the trial in the criminal case involving Vidadi Zeynalov, head of the Office of the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan, and others arrested with him.
Vidadi Zeynalov testified at the trial presided over by judge Afgan Hajiyev, APA reported.
Zeynalov said that he didn’t plan to give testimony, but witnesses’ testimonies revealed that he had not committed any criminal offense.
“As I mentioned in my initial testimony, I have fulfilled the tasks set by the ministry leadership. However, I was introduced to the public as a criminal. I’m giving testimony so that no one can think that I am afraid. Many people were eagerly awaiting my speech. I have much to tell, but I don’t want to weary myself,” he said.
Zeynalov did not agree with the figures indicated in the act of indictment.
“If the court was a bit just, it would mention that one plus one equals two. There's very little time left for punishment of the true guilty. I and the others in prison are waiting for it”, he added.
Zeynalov said that he participated in drafting laws on banking, finance and treasure. “I have never been a person in charge. My fault was carrying out extra instructions. I cast a slur on the future of my children. Therefore, I want to apologize to my people and the president. May Allah forgive me of my sins. During the investigation I wanted to compensate for the damage caused, but I was not allowed to do it.”
He continued: “I asked the head of the investigation team why they don’t arrest Iltimas Mammadov, who brewed all this and wanted to take the post of Ali Abbasov. He could be questioned for the sake of objectivity. He has committed sabotage for several times and got funds more than any others. He committed sabotage in international thrice to achieve Ali Abbasov’s dismissal. Why and whom does court fear from? If I were guilty, I would not give my property to my family. I would transport it outside of the country. Now they don’t allow me to sell my property and compensate for the damage. We’re asking the court to create conditions for our property to be sold for a price determined by experts. If they don’t agree to it either, we should stop looking for a client then. While calculations were done in dollar at the time, the act of indictment shows them in manat, which is 25% exaggerated. I know inspectors very well. I don’t think they wrote those data, amounts and shortcomings in the act of indictment deliberately. The Ministry of Finance knows two things – inspection and drawing calculations. When I started reading the act of indictment, I had to look for what were correct, rather what were incorrect. It’s indicative of the investigating attitude toward the incident.”
Zeynalov then said he was not feeling well and asked for a break. The meeting was rescheduled for May 10.
The Baku Court of Grave Crimes on Wednesday continued the trial in the criminal case involving Vidadi Zeynalov, chief of the Office of the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies, and other people arrested alongside him.
Speaking at the trial, Vugar Babayev, a ministry official, said that defendants Namazali Mammadov, Emin Mammadov and Sahrab Humbatov compensated for the damage caused by them. Babayev said that the ministry did not file a lawsuit against those persons.
Vidadi Zeynalov’s lawyer Elkhan Suleymanli has filed petitions at the trial.
He said that during the investigation, the amount of the embezzled money was specified 153 million.
“The damage caused to some was compensated during the investigation. We ask the court to send a request to the Anti-Corruption Department so that it will specify the amount paid,” said the lawyer.
Lawyers of the defendants, who reimbursed damage, raised their objections to the petitions.
Commenting on the petitions, Vidadi Zeynalov said that there is no need to send a request to the Anti-Corruption Department: “The amounts to the name of each person have been indicated in investigative materials, in black letters. I am not interested in the cost that was paid.”
Zeynalov asked the court to sustain the other two petitions, interrogate representatives of the Finance Ministry and experts and discuss the documents in the courtroom.
The court rejected the petitions.
The process will continue in the afternoon. Zeynalov is expected to give testimony at the trial.
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 Chief of Staff of the Ministry 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, “AzİnTelekom” 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.
The head of the ministry’s Office Vidadi Zeynalov, the director general of AzInTelekom LLC Jalil Jafarov, the director general of Azerpocht LLC Gambar Beybalayev face charges under articles 179.3.2 and 308.2. A preventive measure in the form of arrest has been chosen against all of those persons.
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