Jahangir Hajiyev Declares Hunger Strike in Punishment Cell - Lawyer

Baku / 28.09.17 / Turan: Jahangir Hajiyev, former chairman of the board of the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA), was imprisoned in the punishment cell of Prison No. 13 for seven days and went on a hunger strike there. Turan was told about it by his lawyer Fakhraddin Mehdyev, referring to unofficial information sources from the prison. Lawyers cannot receive official information about Hajiyev's fate from the prison administration and from the Penitentiary Service.

According to the lawyer, Hajiyev could be imprisoned on the evening of Tuesday. Mehdiyev could not meet with his client in the prison on Wednesday.

"I was told the prison head was not at work, so the pass could not be signed." Today, on September 28, my colleague Aghil Lahijov also failed to meet with Jahangir Hajiyev for the same reasons. "The Prison Service said the prison head was not at work, so they did not write out a pass, but according to our information, the boss was in his place on Thursday," Mehdiyev said.

The lawyer noted that, according to information leaked from within the jail, Hajiyev was detained in a punishment cell for seven days and, in protest, he declared a hunger strike there. Mehdiyev found it difficult to unequivocally name the reasons for this. However, according to the lawyer, from the very beginning, on the part of the prison administration "there was a prejudiced attitude" to Hajiyev. This manifests itself in careful checks of the lawyer records handed over to Hajiyev and the examination of the defenders themselves, Mehdiyev noted.

The lawyer did not rule out that the reason for putting Hajiyev in the punishment cell could be his correspondence interview with one of the local websites. It should be noted that in this interview Hajiyev criticized the government's policy towards banks and entrepreneurship and in particular spoke sharply about the Finance Minister Samir Sharifov.

The lawyer expressed doubts that Hajiyev, "being an intelligent person who for many years held senior positions could violate the internal routine of the prison."

It was not possible to receive comments in the Penitentiary Service.

In 2015, major financial irregularities and capital outflows abroad were exposed in the IBA. The former head of the IBA Jahangir Hajiyev was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment. Together with him, former heads of a number of branches were sentenced to prison terms.

Hajiyev was charged with appropriating about 80 million manat, while according to media reports, the amount of problem loans of the bank reached 6 billion manat. -06B-

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