Two local officials detained on corruption-related charges
By Akbar Mammadov
Police in Azerbaijan have detained head of the Architecture and Construction Department of Ganja City Executive Authorities Ali Rustamli on charges of bribery and abuse of power, the Prosecutor General’s Office reported in its website on August 24.
Maharat Mustafayev, the former head of the Architecture and Construction Department of Ganja City Executive Power, was also detained and Razin Gahramanov, who participated as a mediator in the commission of these crimes, was placed under police control.
The criminal case was initiated after the Anti-Corruption General Directorate under the Prosecutor General received numerous appeals from citizens in connection with the illegal actions of Maharat Mustafayev.
Based on the initial evidence obtained during the investigation, it was determined that while working as the head of the Executive Power of Nizami district of Ganja city, Maharat Mustafayev had collaborated with Ali Rustamli, then entered into criminal relations with Rustamli and other officials of the executive authorities.
They received bribes from residents through Rustamli and other executive officials.
The investigation has revealed that Maharat Mustafayev received bribes in the total amount of $114,360 (AZN 194,300) through Ali Rustamli and other executive officials from individuals at different times for permitting of the design and construction of individual houses, and other illegal purposes. Thus, the detained officials appropriated $103,297 (AZN 175,500) from the resident by promising him to create conditions for the continuation of production activities.
Former head of the Architecture and Construction Department of Ganja City Executive Power, Mustafayev is also suspected of receiving a bribe of $5,297 (AZN 9,000) from a citizen through an engineer of the department for the maintenance of relevant documentation on the land.
“Currently, operational-investigative measures are being taken to determine the full range of circumstances relevant to the criminal case, including those involved in the commission of crimes in any form,” the Prosecutor General’s office noted.
Earlier, on August 20, Head of Kurdamir District Executive Authorities Jeyhun Jafarov, the district Head’s First Deputy Tajeddin Novruz, Natig Karimov, Head of the Department for Work with Territorial Administration and Local Self-Government Bodies of the Office of the Head of the Executive Authorities, and other officials were also detained under charges of bribery and abuse of power.
So far, the Anti-Corruption General Directorate and State Security Service have launched criminal cases and investigative measures against several local officials in Kurdamir, 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 the 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.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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