Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 11
Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland has welcomed the release of Director of Turan Information Agency Mehman Aliyev, according to a message published on the Council of Europe website.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev today instructed the appropriate authorities to consider the request by Director of Turan News Agency Mehman Aliyev to replace his imprisonment with house arrest.
Ali Hasanov, the president’s aide for public and political affairs, said this decision is a clear manifestation of Ilham Aliyev’s unchangeable position and will to ensure freedom of speech and information, independence of the mass media and free activities of journalists.
Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Taxes has earlier said that based on the results of an inspection carried out in Turan Information Agency to identify tax risks and cases of tax evasion, it was established that Mehman Aliyev had been evading payment of taxes to the state budget.
A criminal case was initiated against Mehman Aliyev under articles 192.2.2 (illegal entrepreneurship), 213.1 (evasion of taxes or compulsory social insurance contributions) and 308.1 (abuse of power) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan.