News 16 september — 11:30

Mubariz Mansimov: 'I met with Fethullah Gülen twice'

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BY INFORMATION SECTION

In Istanbul, the Grave Crimes Court held a hearing on the case of Azerbaijani businessman, head of the Palmali group of companies Mubariz Mansimov, accused of having links with the terrorist organisation FETÖ, Turkish media report.

Speaking in court, Mubariz Mansimov said that he had twice met with the FETÖ leader Fethullah Gülen.

'The first meeting took place when I was invited to America for Iftar. I drank a little that day and therefore did not want to go. But they insisted. The man they called "Khoja" wanted me to sit next to him. I said I was drunk and asked if I could get up. He replied that "these are matters that are only between me and Allah." It struck me as ridiculous that a religious figure was saying that. Then he showed us his house. Walking around the house, I noticed a vessel on which was written "Azerbaijan." I asked Fethullah Gülen what it was. He replied that he was sniffing it, and this calms him down. I asked why to sniff the vessel when you can get on a plane and fly to Azerbaijan. At that moment, someone tugged at my sleeve and demanded that I watch my words. That day I argued a lot with the businessmen and politicians who were present there, and then I left,' the accused said.

Mubariz Mansimov said that after that meeting, Gülen's supporters literally pursued him.

The judge inquired about the rosary that Fethullah Gülen had presented to Mansimov.

'I sold this rosary for a thousand dollars. I have never donated money to FETÖ structures,' Mansimov replied.

During the trial, the judge decided to keep Mubariz Mansimov under arrest. The next court session will be held on December 9.

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