Kamran Əliyev

Kamran Əliyev

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- Javad bey, there has been talk for a long time about the change of the Prosecutor General in Azerbaijan. But Zakir Garalov was replaced by a figure from the same team. Do you think this change will change the activity of the prosecutor's offices?

- Zakir Garalov has been the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Azerbaijan since April 2000.

At the time of his appointment, Article 16 of the Law on the Prosecutor's Office contained a provision "On the inability of the same person to be appointed to the post of Prosecutor General of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Military Prosecutor of the Republic of Azerbaijan more than twice".

At the same time, there were similar provisions in the Constitution in relation to the powers of the President and the Law on the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman). Later, the Constitution was amended by referendum and the time limit for the election of the President was removed. Other laws have been successively amended, including the Law on the Prosecutor's Office.

Thus, this amendment allowed Zakir Garalov to be appointed Prosecutor General four times. From a legal point of view, there were no restrictions on his appointment as Prosecutor General for the next five years. However, since the power to appoint the Prosecutor General belongs to the President with the consent of the Milli Majlis, another candidate was nominated.

- Why Kamran Aliyev? What are his advantages? And what can be expected from Kamran Aliyev as the new Prosecutor General?

- Against the background of general personnel changes, this appointment was expected. Kamran Aliyev's previous position was head of the Department for Combating Corruption under the Prosecutor General's Office. Later, the status of this department grew and it received the status of the General Directorate. In addition to being the head of the General Directorate, Kamran Aliyev became the Deputy Prosecutor General. For this reason, it is normal for him to be nominated for the post of Prosecutor General. In general, the appointment of a deputy head as the head after a certain period is a positive approach in terms of promotion and stimulation in staff appointments.

- Previously, Kamran Aliyev was the head of the General Directorate for Combating Corruption under the Prosecutor General's Office. How do you assess his activity in this post? Has he had any serious anti-corruption activities?

- The General Directorate for Combating Corruption under the Prosecutor's Office is a unique organization in terms of its legal status under the Law on the Prosecutor's Office, and in general, there are elements of the prosecutor's office overstepping its constitutional authority. This is due to the fact that it makes a search operation. In general, the Prosecutor's Office is located in the "Judicial Power" section of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan. That is, the prosecutor's office is formally considered the judiciary branch. This is also the case in the Constitution of other states. For example, in neighboring Russia. According to constitutional law experts, this is a mechanical approach. In other words, since this department cannot be assigned to other branches of government, it belongs to the nearest judiciary. However, the Department for Combating Corruption has been given the power of search operation as the body of the prosecutor's office. Kamran Aliyev was the first head of this department since its establishment. However, if we look at the latest situation, we can see that the scandalous arrests, i.e. the arrest of high-ranking officials was not carried out by the Department for Combating Corruption, but by the State Security Service (SSS) or the Department for Investigation of Grave Crimes, which is another well-known department of the prosecutor's office. This includes the scandalous MNS case and the recent arrests of chief executives. In other words, we cannot say that the Department for Combating Corruption is working at full capacity due to its functional purpose and technical capabilities.

- There is a version that the appointment of Kamran Aliyev as Prosecutor General will reduce the dependence of the Prosecutor General's Office on the Ministry of Internal Affairs, or, let’s say, the ministry will not be able to interfere in the activities of the prosecutor's office. Do you believe in this version? Is it possible to do this in Azerbaijan in the current situation?

- According to the Law on the Prosecutor's Office and the Police, there is prosecutorial control over the police. Unfortunately, we have observed that the prosecutor's office does not use this control mechanism enough. Sometimes it is even more pronounced. Due to the new political situation, the number of figures with the status of inviolable persons is decreasing. Therefore, in the near future, we may witness new scandalous arrests in this area too.

- Until now, the Prosecutor General's Office has been one of the most important bodies in political arrests, as well as in political criminal cases. Of course, all this did not make the activities of the Prosecutor General's Office glorious and damaged its image even in the international arena. After this, is it possible to change the image of the Prosecutor General's Office for the better with a personnel change? Or will the new Prosecutor General at least try to do so?

-The head of state recently used the phrase that no one should be persecuted for their political views. This, in itself, indicates the emergence of new conditions. The previous persecutions and arrests you mentioned were political in nature. Although the country's officials denied this, the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and the resolutions of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe proved the opposite. The recent decision of the Plenum of the Supreme Court in relation to the chairman of REAL, Ilgar Mammadov, gives hope that positive steps will be taken in this direction as well. The head of state stressed that “we want the country's problems to be resolved within the country”. We have always sincerely wished this and we want real work to be done in this direction.

- In your opinion, what steps should be taken in Azerbaijan for the normal functioning of the Prosecutor General's Office?

-Constitutional reform must be implemented. The prosecutor's office has a wide range of powers, such as conducting investigations, overseeing investigations, defending charges, and protesting court decisions. The authority of the prosecutor's office to conduct an investigation should be removed. At the same time, the institution of “plea-bargain” (agreement between the prosecution and the defense) in the Anglo-Saxon legal system should be applied. By the way, this institution was included in the legislation after Mikheil Saakashvili was elected President of Georgia and still operates successfully. In addition, the institution of judicial control must be improved for the normal functioning of the prosecutor's office, and, in general, the real independence of the judiciary must be ensured. All these are ultimately issues of political will.

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