A new political scandal is gaining momentum in Azerbaijan, after several local newspapers divulged data about the recruitment and payment of intelligence agents who worked for the former Ministry of National Security (MNS).
Allegedly, the information emerged during the
case against the former head of the Antiterrorist Center of the former MNS, major-general Elchin Guliyev.
The data indicate how specific agents were recruited and paid during specific operations. Real names as well as pseudonymous of the agents were revealed – both of which are considered state secrets.
The MNS was abolished in 2015. Guliyev and other former members of the MNS were arrested in the same year and accused of abuse of political power in the period stretching from 2004-2015.
They have been charged with
of the criminal code, including bribery, extortion and abuse of authority.
The published data refers to several testimonies given by several agents and to a report on the expenditure of funds allocated to the antiterrorist center conducted after its dismissal in December 2015.
Specifically, during the preliminary investigation, the Prosecutor General’s Office conducted an examination of the special operations under the code names “Şimal küləyi” (North Wind) and “Qütb gecəsi” (Night of Truth).
, Azer Majidov, the head of the first department of accounting of the Ministry of National Security, during his preliminary testimony, said that late chairman of the Azerbaijan Committee Against Torture, Elchin Behbudov, also known under the pseudonym of BET, received a monthly cash award of AZN 2,000 from the MNS.
According to the report on MNS expenditures, a total of 105 thousand dollars and 1,357 million manats were spent within the Qütb gecəsi operation.
One of the agents, chairman of the non-governmental organization, was paid AZN 6,000 per month for renting an office and issuing a newspaper during this operation. In addition, he received payment for numerous trips. For the period, 2011-2015 this agent received a total amount of 132,000 manat, 6,150 US dollars and 2,475 euros.
Among MNS agents, there were editors and a former minister. Accordingly, one agent, the editor in chief of a newspaper was involved in unofficial cooperation in January 2014. For information important to an operation he was paid a fee of 10,000 manat.
It seems that several agents were paid without a reason,
states. For example, on the eve of the presidential elections of 2013, one agent was paid 40,000 manat within 4 months, and another, named “Qahraman” (Champion) in 2011, 25,000 manat. The latter was provided with a permanent salary of 250, and then 600 manat for his services.
Another agent, under the pseudonym of “Terminator” was paid around 287 thousand euros, 5,400 dollars and 12 thousand manat.
Several questions have to be answered regarding the case.
Neither the General Prosecutor nor Azerbaijani Security Services have officially reacted or commented on the issue.
The Azerbaijani Security Services launched an official investigation into the matter on May 15, which will establish the veracity of the information circulated in the media,