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Disgraced oligarchs gather rallies in Baku (Article one)

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BY EYNULLA FATULLAYEV, MAMMAD EFENDIYEV, ELDAR ALIYEV

Last week a spontaneous rally was held in Baku. How so, will ask in perplexity the residents of the stable capital, who have long been unaccustomed to the unexpected disturbances of the measured Baku calm. A spontaneous rally of people with proletarian appearance took place in the Keshla workshop, which has been recently, from a misconception, called a factory.

And this "factory" belongs to the scandalous Zulfugarli brothers.

Spontaneous rally

Ba! Familiar faces!

The new reincarnation of the disgraced Zulfugarli brothers in Baku caused an unending surprise. What is it? After all, the attempt of a coup d'etat in the orange autumn of 2005 is still fresh in public memory. The homegrown oligarchs hatching in Baku light from the remote Russian outback, joining forces with the then leader of the oligarchic clan of the "Farhadians" and "Alar boys", the all-powerful minister Farhad Aliyev, threw down a gauntlet to the power. The shaky and fragile vertical of power was subjected to fatal tests. The political opposition, having entered into an alliance with the leading oligarchic grouping of the Zulfugarli brothers, attempted to provoke a revolutionary storm in the country, spreading the orange epidemic to the most stable enclave of teh CIS - Azerbaijan. The revolution was extinguished, having dealt with the fifth column of the "Farhadians", and the Zulfugarli brothers, the main sponsors of the Azerbaijani orange troubles, were sent to prison in Baku.

In the incarnation of the inspirers of the Azerbaijani troubles in 2005, were the brothers Nureddin and Logman Zulfugarli. They complained about the lack of a competitive environment, monopoly and protectionism, but the main target of the rebellious oligarchs at that time was an American businessman of Iranian origin - Paolo Parviz. Although, the brothers themselves, monopolizing the steel industry, inflated prices in the domestic market, squeezing competitors. There was a war for the super-profitable spheres of the Azerbaijani economy and the redistribution of property, in which Zulfugarli suffered a crushing defeat. And then Nureddin and Logman emigrated to Turkey, investing tens of millions of dollars in the construction segment in the residential areas of Istanbul. And how else - after all, they left looted industrial enterprises behind them. Just bare walls...

The first opposition speeches by the head of the Zulfugarli clan - Nureddin

Logman Zulfugarli again appeared in Baku

But at the same time the brothers did not lose hope for revenge and a new return to the measured Azeri capital on the crest of the revolutionary war. Nureddin Zulfugarli - the clan leader fought against the Azerbaijani authorities virtually, from Istanbul, on the pages of opposition Azerbaijani media and Turkish TV. But Logman Zulfugarli appeared in Baku permanently, ingratiating to the new leaders of the permanent revolution - Ali Karimli and the newspaper "Azadlig". The whole agitprop of the brothers, directed against the encirclement of President Ilham Aliyev and his associates, and sometimes even against the head of state himself, was conducted on the pages of the main opposition paper. And, of course, there was systemic financing of propaganda tools of Ali Karimli. Brothers did not lose hope thus to return to their possession the lost tools of production. New Istanbul projects required a lot of money.

In general, this pair of Zulfugarov relatives appeared on the wave of the renaissance of the Azerbaijani economy - at the beginning of "stormy 2000s". In a few years, we will repeat, the future revolutionaries, not without the help of the minister with an orange tie, took control of almost the entire metallurgical industry of the country. Bakı Poladtökmə, Bakıelektroştamp, Bakı inşaat sənaye, Xəzər Boru... This is just a small list of the largest industrial associations, occupied by the brothers. And we will also present a tragic picture to the readers' judgement: a depressing reality that testifies to the complete looting of the means of production and the destruction of the country's leading industrial enterprises. However, we will not run ahead...

Zulfugarli returned to Baku for revenge

In 2005, shortly before the dramatic finale, the brothers acquired in Turkey a combined production line for the manufacture of reinforced bars and channels, subsequently installed at the plant of Bakı Poladtökmə OJSC. But a year later the latest technology strangely disappeared from the enterprise. And this happened exactly after the liberation of the brothers from prison. The price of freedom for Zulfugarli proved prohibitively high - the monopolists gave up their possessions in exchange for the right to emigrate from the country.

As can be seen from court documents, in 2006, just before the surrender of the enterprise to new owners, the technological line was dismantled and destroyed. Say, in retaliation for squeezing property. In the legend of the Zulfugarli brothers - revenge for a nightmare - it is hard to believe, because it is about tens of millions of dollars. No, even the "frightened businessmen" will destroy their own means of production, purchased for tens of millions of dollars.

A little later, the new owners of Bakı Poladtökmə, from which the ruins were left, found traces of the disappeared equipment at another plant - Bakı İnşaat Sənaye. But here there was a small collision - part of the territory of this enterprise was leased by the company - OOO Birlik. And so the reader is not confused in these names, we will immediately emphasize the essence of the matter - all of the above enterprises, ultimately, belonged to the Zulfugarli brothers.

Orange 2005

And the whole clever combination with the disappearance of equipment pursued only one goal: to increase one's own profit to the detriment of state revenues by evading taxation. But again we ran ahead, especially since in subsequent publications we will present the position of the Ministry of Taxes and other state departments to the readers' judgement.

And now let's go back to the background. There may be a question - who became the new owner of the factory of disgraced brothers. The owner of the factory Bakı Poladtökmə, more precisely, the ruins and bare walls, left after the ruin of the strategic enterprise, was Baku Steel Construction OJSC. In 2008, Paolo Parviz resigned from the metallurgical business, successfully selling his share to the company's new owners.

It is not difficult to guess that, according to the transaction, the new owner had to go over everything that was on the balance sheet of the enterprise, for which it was necessary to conduct a thorough audit. And during the inventory, the new owners could not help but wonder about the fate of the whole technological line purchased in 2005. To establish, where such a complicated and oversized equipment has gone, as it was mentioned above, it turned out to be not so problematic. But all the ordeals began after that.

The new owners demanded that the brothers return the loot. But Zulfugarli were adamant, in every way justifying illegal expropriation or, more simply, ordinary theft. Zulfugarli began to convince the new owners that the production line was dispossessed, but they could not present the documents. Meanwhile, the production line, consisting of ten pieces of equipment, was still on the balance sheet of Baku Steel Construction. What did the new owners have to do? Of course, apply to the courts.

Time against the disgraced oligarchs

For more than four years, a Baku Steel Construction lawsuit has been ongoing against Birlik. Finally, the Baku Administrative-territorial Economic Court No.2 satisfied the claims of the new owners of the company. The verdict was more than unambiguous - to transfer the entire production line of Baku Steel Construction, except for the large diesel engine D.E.M. But LLC Birlik in the person of the erring oligarch brothers disagreed with this decision and filed an appeal.

The authors of the complaint did not appear at the Baku Court of Appeal, pursuing a very obvious goal - to delay the process and gain time. After all, the stake is greater than life. After the final entry into force of the court decision, the cornered brothers would have to return the stolen line. And the judges, in accordance with the requirements of Article 376.2 of the Civil Procedure Code, held a meeting without the participation of Zulfugarlis' representative. To understand the dirty game of the brothers was possible without much difficulty. As a result, the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the court of first instance, obliging Birlik to return the production line to the real owner.

And what did Zulfugarli brothers do? Of course, they did not return the stolen means of production, taking advantage of the last chance - to file a cassation appeal to the Supreme Court. And how did the robbers of the means of production substantiate their appeal to the cassation? Like, the judge of the Court of Appeal Jahangir Yusifov appointed the meeting on December 17, 2015, without notifying the respondent in due order, and ruled without hearing their arguments. Funny interpretation of their own claims, because the court notifies all parties to the proceedings by mail notification. And how did the Supreme Court react to the last straw-hope-argument of the brothers? The court found that the notice was sent on November 27, 2015 by mail to the defendant's legal address (D.Bunyaatzade Street, 71B). Moreover, the defendant received this notice on December 4, 2015. Comments, as they say, are superfluous. After all, the interested party in this case is LLC Birlik - the author of the appeal. But we shouldn't look for logic in Zulfugarlis' actions! The Administrative and Territorial Collegium of the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan also upheld the previous court's decision. And here the arguments of the respondent were found to be unreasonable, which is confirmed by the decision of May 25, 2017.

After Zulfugarli there were only ruins

And the brothers again turn to the old tried and tested method of struggle - unrest and confusion. Only these methods can defeat the law. This is the logic of the revolution, after which the redistribution of property takes place.

They answer the authorities with rallies

And last Friday, the opposition media spread the news about a spontaneous rally and a riot of proletarian mass at the Bakı İnşaat Sənayəsi plant. According to the court decision and the laws of Azerbaijan, judicial executors came to the plant in order to execute the decision of the Supreme Court of the country. And how did the Zulfugarli brothers greet them? An organized demonstration of the opposition crowd.

The editorial office of Azeri Daily decided to conduct its own investigation of the vicissitudes of this very complex case. And we decided to visit a new underground shop of the Zulfugarli brothers, called through a misunderstanding a "production association". And what do you think? We, like the courts, were not allowed into the factory!

For a long time, the security was investigating the reason for our arrival, asked whether our unexpected visit was agreed with the plant's management. Then they tried for a long time and persistently to reach the managers or the owners - the Zulfugarli brothers. As it became known later, the second of the brothers - Logman Zulfugarli after the promulgation of the verdict of the court shamefully fled the country. And the elder brother did not appear in Baku...

In the end, we received an innocent and evasive answer that one of the responsible persons is not in the city, and the other is in the ministry - in which they did not say. They politely asked for contact phones, promising that they would call us back. But, naturally, as we expected, no one called. Neither on Monday, nor on Tuesday, nor in the following days... Moreover, they stopped responding to our calls, and all persistent attempts to find the chairman of the supervisory board Ramiz Ahmedov were unsuccessful.

Yes, they did not want to talk to us from the very beginning. Maybe the management of the plant tried to avoid the acute questions about organizing a spontaneous rally? The escaped brothers and their governors have left us no other way than to turn to video recording of the protest.

The video footage shows how the workers behind the fence in worn-out, leaky working clothes (some even wearing hard hats) waited in advance for the appearance of judicial officials. Yes, and judicial executors, apparently, were warned about the surprise prepared for them. It was enough for them to get together on this side of the gate, as the whole crowd, as if on command, rushed in their direction. But, to the credit of the executors, they did not flinch before the many times superior in number workers of the enterprise, who surrounded them from all sides.

Thus was the audit conducted

Realizing that the first attack failed, the dissatisfied mass began to express its indignation at the appearance of court executors by shouts and threats. Like, they here earn a living by the sweat for a piece of bread, but the executors of court decisions want to prevent it. Particularly active among them was the average physique of a man who introduced himself as chairman of the supervisory board of the enterprise.

Soon after arranging something like an impromptu rally, Ramiz Ahmedov began to voice the main theses, replicated by the propaganda leaflet of Ali Karimli - the newspaper "Azadlyg" a few years ago: officials surrounding the president are trying with all their might to strangle the rudiments of the revived Zulfugarli metallurgical renaissance. At the same time, the miserable picture of the "renaissance" spoke for itself: dirty workers in the antediluvian Soviet hard hats are standing around the garbage dump in front of primitive shops reminiscent of the barracks of a hundred years ago.

The executors and the arrived police unit patiently waited for the end of this mixed-up crowd. And the leadership of the enterprise had no choice but to let them into the factory, where the guards of the order fulfilled their official duties - they silently conducted the audit of the equipment. Having fulfilled their official duty, the court representatives left the territory of the barracks of a hundred years ago without controversy.

Workers of Zulfugarli: no comments

After Friday's excesses, the Zulfugarli brothers and their deputy in the factory - Ahmedov promised the authorities a bloody battle. But, the disgraced brothers, in particular Logman Zulfugarli himself, implicated in the bloody orange distempers of 2005, could not return to Baku without the permission of high officials and declare a new bloody revolution. The disgraced oligarch looks very bold. Who is behind Zulfugarli? And how will the new revolt of revanchists end? This we will discuss in our next publication.

(to be continued)

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