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Another local official detained on corruption-related charges

20 August 2020 18:00 (UTC+04:00)
Another local official detained on corruption-related charges

By Akbar Mammadov

Police in Azerbaijan has detained Head of Kurdamir District Executive Authorities Jeyhun Jafarov on charges of bribery and abuse of power, the Prosecutor General’s Office reported in its website on August 20.

The district head’s First Deputy Tajeddin Novruz, Head of the Department for Work with Territorial Administration and Local Self-Government Bodies of the Office of the Head of the Executive Authorities, Natig Karimov and other officials have also been detained under the same charges.

The criminal case was initiated after the investigation by the Anti-Corruption General Directorate under the Prosecutor General on violations of the law in the Kurdamir executive authorities.

The Anti-Corruption General Directorate held investigative operation in the administrative building of the Executive Authorities of Kurdamir district on August 19. Three other regional agencies - the Irrigation systems and Landscaping departments of the district, the Combine of Public Utilities and in the Representation of Kurdamir city Administrative Territorial District were also investigated.

The grounds for suspicion of taking various amounts of money as bribe from health, education and other state institutions, as well as from a number of private enterprises and other illegal actions that cause significant harm to the interests of the state have been identified by the Anti-Corruption General Directorate.

The investigation has revealed that bribes in the amount of $227,200 (AZN 386,000) were taken by Kurdamir district executive authorities led by Jeyhun Jafarov. The detained officials, directly and through other officials of the executive authorities, at various times received bribes in the amount of $80,636 (AZN 137,000) from health facilities, $34,138 (AZN 58,000) from the Combine of Public Utilities, AZN $70,624 (AZN 120,000) from educational institutions operating in the region, $41,786 (AZN 71,000) from “Azbiyan” LLC operating in the Kurdamir district.

“The investigative-operational measures are underway to investigate violations of the law in the activities of the Kurdamir district executive authorities and other agencies operating in the district,” The Prosecutor General’s office noted.

So far, the Anti-Corruption General Directorate and State Security Service have launched criminal cases and investigative measures against several local officials in Masalli, Bilasuvar, Ganja, Absheron, Sabirabad, Agjabadi, Tartar, Zardab, Neftchala, and officials in Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Tax Department and Coastal Guard.

It should be noted that Azerbaijan ranked 7th among the 50 member states of the Council of Europe and 1st among the CIS countries for anti-corruption index, according to the recent report of Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) 2019 on June 3.

On 27 February, Azerbaijan’s President signed the order on approval of the “National Action Plan for The Promotion of Open Government for 2020-2022”. The plan has been aimed at expanding the application of the principles of openness, transparency and accountability, increase financial transparency, increase the means of ensuring the right to information, support civil society institutions and strengthen public control, to ensure the sustainability of measures to promote open government.

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Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97

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