Court Did Not Satisfy One of Turan News Agency�s Claims against Ministry of Taxes

Baku / 11.10.17 / Turan: Baku Administrative Economic Court No. 1 did not satisfy the Turan News Agency"s claim against the Baku City Local Income Department of the Ministry of Taxes.

The suit contained a request to declare invalid and unlawful the decision on the appointment of an extraordinary on-site tax audit of the news agency for the period 2010-2017.

The judges under the chairmanship of Museib Bayramov found the claim inadmissible, taking as a basis the arguments of the tax authorities that the decision to arrange on-site inspection is not an administrative act and cannot be appealed. The court actually withdrew from responsibility for the consideration of the claim, leaving the decision to the discretion of the Court of Appeal.

The lawyer Fuad Agayev expressed categorical disagreement with the arguments of the defendant and the court"s decision. He pointed out that, according to the Rules for the Arrangement of On-Site Tax Inspections approved by the Ministry of Taxes on September 7, 2016, the taxpayer has the right to appeal against the decision to check.

Agayev noted that the plaintiff will appeal to the Appeals Court and it will take at least another month to consider the appeal.

Consideration of another claim of Turan News Agency against the Tax Crimes Preliminary Investigation Department of the Ministry of Taxes on the illegality of the decision of August 7 to initiate criminal proceedings against Turan News Agency was postponed until December 5.

Turan News Agency regards the actions of the Ministry of Taxes and the court as deliberate steps to delay the criminal prosecution of the agency and its director, Mehman Aliyev, and create obstacles to the journalistic activities of the team.

* In May the Baku City Local Income Department accrued sanctions of AZN 5,000 for Turan News Agency for the year 2016. However, after Turan"s administrative complaint and the appropriate investigation, the higher instance of the Ministry of Taxes canceled the decision on June 30. Subsequently, on August 7, the same department added AZN 9,000 manat of taxes for the same year, and accrued a total sanction of AZN 37,000 for the years 2014-2016. A criminal case was launched against the news agency.

On August 25, the news agency"s director Mehman Aliyev was arrested. However, on September 11, he was released under a written commitment not to leave the city of Baku. -03B06-

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