Azersu evades answering questions from Turan agency

On Wednesday, 21 December, held the second hearing on the lawsuit of Turan news agency  against  the state water distribution company JSC "Azersu". The Court once again gave Azersu time until December 30 so that the company responded to a request  from the information agency. This decision was taken after a representative of Azersu again asked for time to prepare answers.

The previous meeting, scheduled for December 9, was postponed  because the judge of the Baku Administrative Economic Court №1 Mammadov Sharafat on that day took part in a seminar of the Justice Ministry.

 The first   court trial at the suit of Turan agency was held on 28 November. The lawsuit was filed in connection with the lack of response to a question on the implementation of orders of the president of the "On ensuring people with water metering devices," March 29, 2016. According to the decree, for the purchase and installation of meters has been allocated 12 million AZN.  Azersu representative in court said that only the day before  he received the statement of claim, and is not familiar with the case. He asked for time to study the request from the  information agency.

Today at trial  Mehman Aliyev, the Director of Turan Agency,  once again urged the judge to give a legal assessment on the fact of failure to submit information and to apply Articles 374, 382 of the Code on administrative violations with a fine collection of maximum 1500 manat to the "Azersu" for failure to provide a response.

Aliyev reiterated the grossly violation of the  laws "On Mass Media", "On Freedom of Information", "On Combating Corruption" (v. 9.3.12). However, the judge Mammedov again said that defined the offense  has not been determined (?!), and the court cannot make any decision.

"Hearings show that the judicial system is unable to respond quickly to questions. As  a journalist  I cannot get answer to  my question for three months. This is nonsense. According to the law on the media and freedom of information, the response  should be given  within  a maximum of 24 hours," Aliyev said.

He further pointed out that 10 years ago  he proposed the creation of a specialized judicial body to consider claims for defamation, copyright infringement, freedom of information, and other issues.  "The situation shows that the issue is still relevant,"  said Aliyev.

In 2006,  by the order of the President Ilham Aliyev ,  "Azersu" declared a state program to install water meters by the end of 2008.  Then the head of state demanded to complete the process in 2007. After 10 years, the program  has been fulfilled  by only 60%, which does not allow to make the right conclusions on the amount of water consumed in the country, and expenditures for these purposes, which are funded by the subscribers, the state and foreign credits. -01C--

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