Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr E. Huseynli / Ali Ahmadov, the Deputy Chairman and Executive Secretary of the Governing New Azerbaijan Party (NAP), said on 16 May that information regarding oil contracts had been misrepresented in the article by Las Abrahams, former BP employee, published in several opposition newspapers. The article reported on the process of oil contract signings in the beginning of the 1990s. Ahmadov said that the article was used as a new trump card by several opposition newspapers intending to attack the Azerbaijani Government.
"The original article and the one published in newspapers greatly differ. The main purpose of the misrepresentation was to draw a correlation between the chaos and corruption that ensued from the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party ruling in 1992-1993 with the current government," Ahmadov added.
The official voiced his concerns regarding that if oil contracts had been made in backroom deals, as Mr. Abrahams said in his article, the ground for it had been prepared by the Popular Front's administration, as the article said that the first agreement was signed in 1992.
"The article reported on imposed curfews, how armed people took to the streets, and other events referring to 1992-93. Although bribery was not mentioned in the article, the opposition newspapers added the fact of bribery by officials. Thus the opposition launches a new slander campaign. Calumny and lies are peculiar to the Azerbaijani opposition. They try to pin their own criminal actions which they committed on the authorities that came to power due to the people's request," Ahmadov stressed.
Ahmadov suggested that the Media Council should express its official opinion on the occasion and to prevent publication of newspapers tainting the honour and decency of individuals," he urged.