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06BAKU1828 2006-12-15 14:34:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baku
Cable title:  

UPDATE ON DETAINED EX-MINISTER: PROPERTY

Tags:   PHUM PGOV PREL KDEM AJ 
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1. (SBU) On December 12, a Baku court ruled in favor of
impounding the property of detained former Minister of
Economic Development, Farhad Aliyev. Head of the Azerbaijani
State Property Registration Service, Arif Qarasov, told the
press that according to the court ruling, because Aliyev
"officially owns no property," his relatives' property would
be impounded. Aliyev's brother told us that neither his
family nor Aliyev's lawyers have received documentation of
this decision. Human rights activist Rena Sadaddinova told us
that the property of several of Aliyev's relatives has
already been impounded.



2. (C) One of Aliyev's attorneys explained to us that the
former Minister's property had actually been legally
impounded in December 2005, but because the authorities did
not send Aliyev and his attorneys the relevant documentation,
they had not been aware of the decision. According to this
attorney, the authorities refused to respond to written
inquiries regarding the legal status of family members'
property. In addition, he said that Aliyev's lawyers and
family have been kept in the dark about the entire
investigation process. Member of Parliament (MP) and Chair of
the Committee to Protect Farhad and Rafig Aliyev's Rights
Jamil Hasanli said that the court's decision to impound
property belonging to Aliyev's family members violates
Azerbaijan's civil code and international commitments.
Although a trial date has not been set, MP Samad Seyidov told
us that he expects the trial to be open to observers, based
on an agreement worked out between the GOAJ and the Council
of Europe.



3. (C) Representatives of the local chapter of the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that the
ICRC has not visited Aliyev since September. They noted that
at the time of the September visit, Aliyev seemed to be in
better condition than most detainees. Aliyev, who suffers
from heart problems and high blood pressure, was one of
several prominent GOAJ officials, including former Health
Minister Ali Insanov and presidential aide Akif
Muradverdiyev, arrested in October 2005 on charges of
plotting a coup and official corruption. Aliyev's lawyers say
that his health has worsened over the course of his detention.
DERSE