Politics 18:14 23/10/2015

Azerbaijan: Media report former MNS head created “shadow government” and prepared overthrow

The illegal actions committed by the former Minister of National Security (MNS) of Azerbaijan and his team against entrepreneurs are just one of the reasons of the total control over them, as well as the arrests of some of them, according to the Azerbaijani website Minval.az.

According to the website, Eldar Mahmudov, the former Security Minister, had problems with the government because of the father of his daughter-in-law, Jahangir Hajiyev, the former head of the International Bank of Azerbaijan. Moreover, it was confirmed that huge loans had been issued upon his agreement, yet many of the indebted entrepreneurs never saw that money. They were made to sign documents in the basement of the MNS building.

According to the information Minval.az received, the former minister has not left the MNS building since 17 October, the day the decree about his dismissal was issued. That means he is not under house arrest but under control in the Ministry. “One cannot say whether it is true or not, but that Eldar Mahmudiov is a key figure in the case is certain. After his dismissal, he got in the centre of all the events – his business, his companies, officials, even deputies, who wish to receive another mandate to get into the Parliament,” Minval.az highlights.

The outlet points out Arif Mammadov’s report about very eminent ministers being in Mahmudov’s clan. Mahmudov offered resistance to the Presidential Administration with the help of that clan and protected those ministers, who, as well and himself, were not considered Administration. Minval.az reports a list of deputies standing close to the former minister. They are Chingiz Asadullayev (Mahmudov’s relative), Malik Hasanov, Rufat Guliyev, Asabil Gasimov, Haji Salayev, Rafael Jabrayilov, all  entrepreneur MPs, having ties with oligarchs.

According to Minval.az, the fact that the brother of Kerem Hasanov, the chairman of the State Committee for Property, also stood close to the MNS head, focuses attention at the information about a “shadow government.” “The events unfolded highlight that the interference in the MNS was so necessary that it was done without waiting for the elections to complete. It was unexpected only for those targeted. If the aim were just to jail to MNS officers, it could have been done after the elections just as well, without making so much fuss. Still, the destruction of the huge and strengthening clan (“government”) within the authority began before the elections, and very prominent figures are going to have trouble, heads will roll,” Minval.az writes.

Commenting on the situation, Hafiz Hajiyev, the chairman of the opposition party Modern Musavat, said, “We are losing our reputation in the world. Groupings are being formed in the country.”

Everyone who Azerbaijan’s president “gives bread” let him down, Hajiyev said. “This all came to prove that the MNS head and the ministers standing close to him were preparing a government overthrow,” the oppositionist said. 

He pointed that all the officials in power are relatives and are ties to each other, which may be a threat for the security of Azerbaijan. “Didn’t Eldar Mahmudov know that when his daughter drank whiskey, drove expensive cars and beat police officers, this would happen? All the officials’ children are the same,” Hajiyev said.

Trend agency reports that the entrepreneurs whom the MNS officials had forced to pay huge non-official sums, appealed to the investigative group of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the country. The names of the MNS officials arrested were revealed. They are Anar Shiraliyev, Eshgin Aliyev, Elshad Azizov, all staffers of the MNS Monitoring centre.

Four generals and several colonels of the MNS have also been dismissed. Those dismissed are the Chief of the MNS Main Directorate for Combating Transnational Economic Crime, Major General Subahir Gurbanov; Chief of the MNS Main Directorate, Major General Tarverdi Mammadov; Chief of the MNS Main Directorate, Major General Parviz Safarov; Military Unit Commander Major General Vugar Allahguliyev; Chief of the MNS Airports Directorate, Colonel Parviz Valiyev; the Deputy Chief of the MNS Personnel Department Colonel Tehran Babatov; and heads of departments of Khatai and Pirallahi districts of Baku, and Masalli district. The personnel reforms in the MNS will continue and other high-ranking officials’ dismissals are expected over the next few days, Trend reports.

Haqqin.az reports that a trial on the case of the former deputy Defence Minister of Azerbaijan, Mehman Salimov, took place in Baku Court of Grave Crimes on 23 October. In his speech, Mehman Salimov accused the MNS of his arrest. “I was arrested because after Safar Abiyev’s resignation I refused to slander him. I was told at the MNS that I would not be arrested if I slandered Safar Abiyev. The MNS is standing behind this,” Salimov said.

Haqqin.az reminds its reader that in 2007, Mehman Salimov, head of STS ltd, a construction company, signed a contract with the Defence Ministry of the country to carry out an extensive repair and reconstructive works in the military city Shubanu-1 of the Azerbaijan Defence Ministry in the territory of Garadagh district.

Commenting on Eldar Mahmudov’s dismissal from post of the MNS head and the arrests of the high-ranking officials of the Ministry, the director of the information agency Turan, Mehman Aliyev, told the website Caucasian Knot that the events are not connected with the upcoming parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan. As for the official version about the MNS officials’ pressure on the entrepreneurs, the expert believes it can be a manoeuvre to distract the public opinion from the real reasons for the dismissal.

The chairman of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research (FAR CENTRE), Hikmet Hajizade, supposes that the Minister’s dismissal can also be connected with the struggle for redistribution of property among the authority circles. Earlier, the Azerbaijani media reported that the holding Caspian Crystal belongs to Mahmudov’s family and is headed by the minister’s son, Anar Mahmudov.

On 17 October 2015, President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, signed a decree to dismiss the Minister of National Security, Eldar Mahmudov Ahmad oglu, from his post. Reportedly, an investigation revealed that a group of high-ranking officials had been engaged in criminal actions against entrepreneurs for a long period and gained millions. The activities of the Azerbaijani business elite and well-known representatives of medium-sized business were surveilled with audio spying equipment on Minister Eldar Makhmudov’s order. The MNS generals took an active part in the process. Later, discrediting material was specially filed against those businesspersons, and consequently, the snatch squad of the MNS conducted illegal arrests of businesspeople on the leadership’s order.

Related:
Why was Azerbaijan Minister of National Security dismissed? Experts comment 

Media reports: Former MNS head of Azerbaijan surveilled business elite and filed discrediting information  
Media report 250 GB secret information stolen from Azerbaijan MNS server, former minister’s fate unknown

 



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