Hilal Asadov testifies in Akif Chovdarov’s trial

Hilal Asadov testifies in Akif Chovdarov’s trial
# 07 June 2017 15:00 (UTC +04:00)

Baku’s Sabunchu district court on Wednesday continued the trial in the criminal case involving Major General Akif Chovdarov, former head of the main energy and transport security directorate under the liquidated Ministry of National Security (MNS) of Azerbaijan, and the others arrested alongside him.

Ex-MNS general Hilal Asadov testified at the trial presided over by Baku Military Court chairman Habib Hasanov, APA reported.

Following the trial, Asadov refused to talk to journalists.

Chovdarov’s lawyer Sadig Rasulov told reporters that Asadov confirmed some part of the testimony he gave during the preliminary investigation and said that the investigation into case of Jafar Seyidov and his brothers, the owners of “8km Market”, was suspended as some aspects on the case were revealed. Chovdarov confirmed what he said. The lawyer didn’t mention what the matter is about.

Hilal Asadov also said that his grandfather, not him, bought the “8km Market”.

In his testimony during the preliminary investigation, Asadov said that he began to work as a consultant in the MSN organized crime directorate in 2004. After about three months, he was appointed director of the ministry’s Anti-Terrorist Center. After 2005, he was appointed deputy minister of national security.

Asadov noted that by minister Eldar Mahmudov’s order, he supervised the work in the Anti-Terrorist Center in 2005-2009 and the Central Counterintelligence Directorate in 2011.

The indictment indicates that the former deputy minister was questioned on the episode of misappropriation of a fruit and vegetable market, known as “8km Market” by MNS employees.

Asadov said in his testimony that he knows neither of victims - Salman, Jafar, Safar and Gahraman Safarov brothers who are from Jalilabad district. He said he didn’t see them.

“I knew they were closely affiliated with former economic development minister Farhad Aliyev. In 2005, Chovdarov came to me and said a person named Chingiz Asadov had a complaint about the Safarov brothers. Asadov said that in 2002 the Safarov brothers forcibly took possession of his grocery market, threatened him, and kidnapped his brother. At that time, I learned that the Safarov brothers were closely affiliated with former economic development minister Farhad Aliyev. They were from the same village. Farhad Aliyev had newly arrested back then. He was under investigation,” he added.

Asadov noted that the Safarov brothers admitted their guilty to Akif Chovdarov.

“At the time, Chodvarov was head of the 1st department of the 1st Office of Anti-Terrorist Center. He used to report to me. Chovdarov had questioned the Safarov brothers and they had admitted their guilt frankly. Chingiz Asadov made an official complaint about the Safarov brothers, with no intention of having them arrested. He simply wanted his market back. I reported the entire story to Eldar Mahmudov. The minister had ordered that the issue be investigated thoroughly,” he said.

The former deputy minister added that the Safarov brothers earlier came to agreement with Chingiz Asadov.

“While in Akif Chovdarov’s room, one of the Safarov brothers agreed to return the market to Chingiz Asadov. I knew neither Chingiz nor the Safarov brothers. Chovdarov would report to me on the matter on a daily basis. Based on the reports, I came to the conclusion that the Safarov brothers had actually resold the market to Chingiz Asadov for a certain amount,” he said.

Hilal Asadov noted that two or three days after these talks, Chingiz Asadov wanted to sell the market. “Akif called me and said it. I told Chovdarov that I would discuss this issue with Eldar Mahmudov. I informed the minister. Eldar Mahmudov said he would respond within days. Two days later the minister gave consent. Chovdarov was instructed in this regard. I proposed my father-in-law Anvar Mammadov to buy half of bazaar. Other half was the matter of Chovdarov. I gave 70,000 dollars to my father-in-law and he found the rest of money needed. My only role in the purchase of bazaar was that I gave money to my father-in-law. All documentation works were conducted by Akif Chovdarov and my father-in-law. The bazaar was sold to my father-in-law and Akif Chovdarov’s friend Elshan Huseynov. Each of them possesses 50 percent share. The bazaar is currently headed by Elshan Huseynov. My father-in-law gave his share to my wife Nushaba. The purchase and registration of bazaar in the name of my wife was conducted in late 2005 and early 2006. I didn’t take part in them. Anvar Mammadov was giving 15000-20000 dollars to Nushaba every month,” he said.

Answering the questions of investigators, Hilal Asadov said that he was unaware of the fact that Akif Chovdarov bought the market by force.

Akif Chovdarov faces charges under Articles 145.3 (illegal deprivation of freedom of a person, causing to the death of the victim or other serious consequences by negligence), 179.3.1, 179.3.2 (embezzlement or waste by an organized group on a large scale), 181.3.1, 181.3.2 (robbery committed by an organized group in order to seize the property on a large scale), 182.3.1, 182.3.2 (extortion, committed by an organized group in order to obtain property on a large scale), 228.4 (illegal purchase, selling or carrying of gas weapon, cold steel, including throwing weapon), 302.1, 302.2 (implementation operative - search actions by not authorized persons, as well as implementation of these actions by authorized persons, but without grounds provided by the legislation, entailed essential, and the same acts committed with use of special means, intended for secret dredging the information), 311.3.1, 311.3.2, 311.3.3, 311.3.4 (bribe-taking by a group of persons on preliminary arrangement, committed repeatedly on a large scale with the use of threats), 313 (service forgery), 341.2.1, 341.2.2, 241.2.3 (abusing authority, excess or inactivity of authority committed by a group of persons, committed with the use of weapons, resulted in grave consequences) of the Criminal Code. The former head of the first department of the ministry’s main directorate Salim Mammadov is charged under articles 145.3, 179.3.1, 179.3.2, 181.3.1, 181.3.2, 182.3.1, 182.3.2, 302.1, 302.2, 311.3.1, 311.3.2, 311.3.3, 311.3.4, 313, 341.2.1, 341.2.2 and 341.2.3; the former head of the second department Akif Aliyev is charged under articles 145.3, 179.3.1, 179.3.2, 181.3.1, 181.3.2, 182.3.1, 182.3.2, 302.2, 311.3.1, 311.3.2, 311.3.3, 311.3.4, 313, 341.2.1, 341.2.2 and 341.2.3; the former deputy head of the first division of the third department Orkhan Osmanov is charged under 145.3, 181.3.1, 181.3.2, 182.3.1, 182.3.2, 302.2, 311.3.1, 311.3.2, 311.3.3, 311.3.4, 341.2.1, 341.2.2 and 341.2.3.

The court ordered seizure on property and cash worth of 33,466,000, trade and service sectors, greenhouses, aquaculture farms and other property complexes, land plots worth of 8,967,000 manats, private houses, apartments and vehicles worth of 24,445,000 manats, jewelry worth of 37,000 manats belonging to the accused persons –- Akif Chovdarov, Salim Mammadov, Akif Aliyev and Orkhan Osmanov to compensate damage caused to the aggrieved persons.