People accused in big embezzlement case testify in Baku court
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 11
By Samir Ali – Trend:
The Baku Grave Crimes Court continued the preparatory trial proceedings on the criminal case of the former head of the International Bank of Azerbaijan Jahangir Hajiyev, his relative Ismayil Hidayetzade, ex-MP Dunyamin Khalilov, also Jamal Hasanov, Sarkhan Rasulov, Natig Imanov, Samir Hajiyev, Tabriz Abdulhamidov, Mahir Gafarov, Sadikh Murtuzayev, Tarlan Maharramov, Fakhraddin Heybatov, Ramin Ahmadov, Fariz Muradov, Salahaddin Gadirov, Erkhan Javad, Arif Ramazanov, Navai Shirinov, Svetlana Asadullayeva, Arif Madatov, Adil Mikailov and Ramiz Karimov, Trend reports.
At the trial, chaired by Judge Faig Ganiyev, the accused Natig Imanov testified. He said that in 2011 he worked at Soik Construction LLC owned by Dunyamin Khalilov.
“I previously worked in other companies as well,” he said. “In this company, our job was to construct a building with four entrances in Baku. I resettled the residents who lived in this area. We entered into sales contracts with approximately 50 families. In 2015, when the criminal case started in connection with the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA), I was brought to the investigation. At that moment, Dunyamin Khalilov wasn’t here. He came later.”
Imanov noted that he is accused of embezzling more than 12 million manats.
“I had the company’s seal,” he said. “At the instruction of Dunyamin Khalilov, I went to the IBA. At the central branch of the bank, I was met by a man named Azer. I signed the documents prepared by him, and after that the money was transferred to the accounts of citizens from whom we bought houses. Every time I went to the bank to sign documents, 1.5 million manats were transferred. I didn’t take money in cash. I only signed documents at the bank. In general, I signed documents on the transfer of 44 million manats.”
The judge said the materials of the criminal case reflect that Imanov took a loan of 22.450 million manats from the IBA.
The accused said that during the period of work as a director in the company, he officially received a salary of 200 manats.
“But unofficially I received from Dunyamin Khalilov a salary of 2,000 manats,” he noted. “I received money in cash at the IBA. I went to the bank, took my money and signed documents. I personally informed Dunyamin Khalilov. Twelve million manats remained in the bank. Then Dunyamin Khalilov sent a man and took the money. I didn’t take cash from the bank.”
Then, Madatov, another accused, was heard. He noted that in 2001 he founded the Abide housing complex together with family members.
“In order to take a loan for dismantling work, I appealed to Dunyamin Khalilov,” he said. “Then we agreed on 25 percent. During the work, Dunyamin Khalilov demanded me to sign the form #2 (a report on income and expenditure). Four times I objected it, because the amounts were too high. I didn’t agree with him. After that, in order for the work to progress, I signed several forms #2, because the work was done by half and the people remained on the street.”
Madatov said that on this occasion he met twice with Jahangir Hajiyev.
“I was only fulfilling the orders of Dunyamin Khalilov,” the accused said. “The money from the bank was transferred to the accounts of 100 families.”
At the trial, it was announced that, according to the indictment, Madatov misappropriated 3.226 million manats of the IBA. Madatov confirmed this amount.
“I wouldn’t say that I misappropriated,” he noted. “However, at that moment in the form #2, the amount was overestimated.”
In his testimony, Murtuzayev, another accused, said that the IBA allocated a 14 million manat loan to the Alfaline company that he headed in 2006-2007.
“Our company financed engineering companies,” he noted. “Personally, I didn’t take part in financing. I just signed the documents. In 2010, I left the company. But it remained registered under my name.”
During the interrogation, Murtuzayev said that he received salary in the company that he led.
A break was announced in the court.
According to official information, during investigations there were reasonable suspicions that contracts for the purchase and sale of promissory notes in the amount of $3.4 billion and 987 million euros were concluded with some legal entities in various countries and illegal transactions were carried out by using promissory notes in 2001-2015 upon Hajiyev’s instructions, who was the chairman of the Board of the International Bank of Azerbaijan.
Moreover, there were reasonable suspicions that Khalilov, 20 more people, as well as other people, caused damage to the bank, misappropriating 4.7 billion manats. Moreover, Hajiyev declined to pay taxes to the budget in the amount of 1,752,000 manats from the profit of Aztorg LLC, jointly led by Hajiyev and Khalilov in 2011-2014.
The Baku Grave Crimes Court previously sentenced Hajiyev to 15 years in prison, Dunyamin Khalilov to 13 years, and Ismayil Hidayetzade to 7 years in prison.
Khalilov’s sentence was reduced from 13 to 12 years and 9 months by a decision of the Baku Court of Appeals; Hidayetzade’s sentence was reduced to five years by the Supreme Court.