Interrogation of Hilal Mammadov who is interviewed as a witness at the closed process of the Court on the Grave Crime from June, 2nd, 2008 (16-00 – 18-00) with regards to the case of the editor-in-chief of the newspaper «Тolishi Sado» («the Voice of Talysh») Novruzali Mammadov and the responsible secretary of the newspaper Elman Guliyev, accused under the Article 274 (« High Treason»).
Dear friends and colleagues! Ladies and gentlemen!
Here is the full text from the interrogation of Hilal Mammadov, chairman of Committee on Protection of the Rights of N.Mammadov, who is interviewed as a witness in the closed Litigation (02.06.2008, 16-оо - 18-оо) process of the editor-in-chief of the newspaper « Tolishi Sado» Novruzali Mammadov and the responsible secretary of the same newspaper Elman Guliyev, accused according to the article 274 («High Treason ») of Criminal Code of the Azerbaijan Republic.
We hope, that the given text will clarify many questions with regards to this process. In fact, this document is the only « alive episode » of " the secret process », a very precise, a terrible episode of the tragic performance about the fate of the people and nations.
Certainly, in the 38 paged verdict of the Court from 24.06.2008, by which N.Mammadov had been sentenced for 10 years and E.Guliyev for 6 years of imprisonment for « High Treason», you will not find anything essential, except a couple of formal sentences.
But, the given text signed by the witness H. Mammadov, is completely reflected in the Appeal complaint of N.Mammadov’s lawyer. 5 months has passed, but the Appeal Court has not taken place in any way. During the given process ,in every stage basic constitutional and international laws are violated and human rights are continually infringed. As said by people: “ the law is not enforced but forces are on the law”! And N.Mammadov and E.Guliyev, now are put into solitary confinement in Bailov, hoping for the fair decision of the Appeal Court … But what’s the use of it, let them wait … And we shall hope for the restoration of interstate and international norms and real democratic transformations in our state!
Committee on Protection of the Rights of N.Mammadov,
Chairman: Hilal Mammadov.
Tel: (050) 559-40-63, (012) 423-21-22
of Hilal Mammadov who is interviewed as a witness at the closed process of the Court on the Grave Crime from June, 2nd, 2008 (16-00 – 18-00) with regards to the case of the editor-in-chief of the newspaper « Тolishi Sado» Novruzali Mammadov and the responsible secretary of the newspaper Elman Guliyev, accused under the Article 274 (« High Treason»)
The witness Mr.Hilal Mamedov (H.М) presented himself.
Novruzali Mamedov’s Lawyer Ramiz Mamedov:
Since when have you known Novruzali Mammadov and since when has he become an active memeber of the Talysh Cultural Centre of the Republic (TCCR, RTCC) and what post had he been holding .
H.Mammadov: Since 1990,after returning from Moscow (After 1981-1990 when I was engaged in scientific activity), I got acquainted with Novruzali Mammadov. At that time he was considered as the only scientist – a specialist dealing with Talysh issues, and he was the Chairman TCCR. If I am not mistaken in the end 1990 or at the beginning of 1991 he was elected the vice-president of the Cultural Center.
The lawyer: And what about E.Guliyev, since what time have you known him?
H.Mammadov. No, I didn’t, we had met once or twice by a chance.
The lawyer (asking E.Guliyev): Is it true?
E.Guliyev. Correct, correct… He called to me home several times requested to meet with me , but I always tried to avoid.
Novruzali Mamedov ( interfering ): Thank God, Hilal, you are lucky, otherwise you would have had to hear a fiction about yourself that incomprehensible to human mind that you would never imagine.
First the lawyer, and then the Judge S.Aleskerov have simultaneously asked one and the same questions:
Do you confirm your testimony stated during the interogation?
H. Mammadov: Yes, I confirm.
The lawyer: What has induced you to create the Committee for Protection of the Rights of Novruzali Mammadov?
The judge (asked the lawyer): Firstly, on what specific fact, you speak about existence of such committee under H.Mammadov's presidency? specifically, in which mass media it was informed about? If there is no any information about it in newspaper at all, then I have to reject your question.
The lawyer: in the newspaper of “Мusavat”, “Аzadlig”, “Baki-Khabar” and in other newspapers constantly wrote about it.
H.Mammadov: Mister Judge, let me clearify it. Not only in the editions mentioned by the lawyer but also in many governmental newspapers, and also in agencies of the Media forum, АPА, ТURАN, Dау. Аz., the Trend and in other Mass-media it is possible to meet hundreds of messages on this issue. And by radio " Freedom ", «Bi-Bi-Ci», « the Voice of America », and in mass-medias of Russia, America, Spain, Germany, Iran, Turkey there was enough messages on this account. Honorable Court, in order to be certain, it is necessary to have a look at resource system of search in the Internet in different languages where you will find official data with titles “ H. Mammadov “, "Novruzali Mamedov", etc.
The judge: Now you can answer the questioned asked by the lawyer .
H.Mammadov: Thank you. Setting Committee has been supported by both , N.Mammadov's family and also by the activists of RТCC and other patriotic forces of intelligentsia. N.Mammadov’s lawyer also supported this idea and advised to assign the management to aghsaqqals (respected people in society). Unfortunately, nobody agreed to chair the committee. The representatives of state structures who at that time had close relationship with Novruzali Mammadov and scientists with whom he worked were also asked, but all of them have avoided to chair the committee for some reason. In the past days Dr. Novruzali and I shared different views in regard to socio-political life. In this respect I can bring numerous facts to your attention. Therefore, it made me to think before making decision due to both this, and the negative image that arose after the August events of 1993: thinking that in case of managing the committee it might be interpreted in two ways.
But after having addressed to influential public figures, and being refused by all of them because of the complexity of the accusation brought against him, I decided to undertake the responsibility of chairing the committee considering it as my moral obligation and my civic duty.
The lawyer: You have noted that you had different opinions with Novruzali Mamedov and it is also known that namely under your direct participation and demand N.Mammadov and S.Asadullayev have been removed from the management of the Center at the conference of RТCC held in 1992. How you can explain to the court the essence of your disagreements and eliminating of the these persons from the management?
H.Mammadov: Firstly, it is necessary to note that there was nothing personal behind the relationship with Novruzali Mammadov and Seyfulla Asadullayev , simply at that time there was a need to do more for national revival of people. At that time many of us were eager to work with great pleasure for that purpose without any personal interest. But it was considered that N.Mamedov and S.Asadullaev didn’t use available opportunities given to us by the legislation and even they were dictated by someone to create obstacles intentionally and not to make use of existing opportunity.
Our disagreements became more serious when the newspaper of “Tolishi Sado” ( voice of Talysh people) had come into existence. We often disagreed on publication of various article or a reprint. At that time I was the chief of newly created Talysh People’s Party (TPP).The TPP did not have a newspaper yet and we were not allowed to use this newspaper as a political tribune. As we were informed that the newspaper is the organ of the Cultural Center and therefore could not be used for political orientation. Certainly, today while having heard something similar that provides thorough justification for their opinion. However , during that period an unexpected event had intensified our struggle. As, the by-law of another party called National Unity ( Chaired by Hajibaba Azimov ,the former deputy of the parliament) was published in « Тоlyshi Sadо », in its last number ,if I am not mistaken, in October 1992 that is ideologically alien to our people and as a result of what we got angry… Then both of them were given ultimatums on : “Why they didn’t allowed to publish the by-law of Talysh People’s Party but allowed to the party opposite to national ideology of our people?! You have no right to work either in the newspaper or in the Cultural Center”.
Because of it, having gained the majority votes of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Center, we had convened a Conference and just there they were removed from the chairmanship of both , the Center and the newspaper. Thus, it was the last publication of the newspaper under their chairmanship on which the by-law of the of the above-mentioned party was published.
The public prosecutor: You have already answered some questions that I was going to ask , however I would like to clarify some of the issues: in your statement you mentioned of «Novruzali Mammadov’s support to statehood, being loyal to the existing authority ». Please, explain your opinion. What did you mean and how you would affirm this?
H.Mammadov. First, at that time Novruzali Mamedov occupied several public posts in Academy and the Presidential Board. For example, He was the secretary of both committee of Party and trade-union committees in the Institute, later he became the secretary of the Academic Council, the official representative on National minorities of the adviser of the president on national relations Hidayat Orujov. At the same time he occupied the post of the official representative of methodical department of the Ministry of Education. N.Mamedov had access to H.Orujov, often meeting each other. Once I told him of not taking our concerns to the authorities and asked him to invite me to the next meeting with H. Orujov. Honestly saying, Dr. Nоvruzali agreed. At the meeting I emotionally accused H. Оrujov of infringement of our basic rights. Later I heard the H.Orujov had got very angry with N. Mammadov because of me.
Today, after 16 years, analyzing those events and comparing with today's crisis of ethno-national situation in our republic, I understand, in what difficult situation was N. Mammadov then.
This is what I meant in my statements.
The public prosecutor: accepted. Thanks.
The lawyer: In the newspaper of « Тоlyshi Sаdо » issued in July 1992, your article entitled « Meetings of Talysh cultural figures with the Iranian guests» was published -, and several months later an interview with Аli Аbdoli –an Iranian scientist dealing with Talysh issue ,was published. Whether N. Mammadov played any role or persuaded you to write that article?
H.Mamedov. N.Mammadov didn’t play any role. On the contrary, it took one month after many attempts the first article was published , and the second one – after their dismissal from RТCC.
The lawyer. Since when and how it came up that you had got acquainted with Аli Аbdoli?
H. Mammadov: On May 22-24 when we had to hold a conference in Astara devoted to the History and Culture of Talysh people. As the conference was cancelled because of the political situation in republic, I had returned to Baku. Next morning I was asked by the Executive committee of Astara district through a phone call to go back. A group of scientists from Iran has arrived here, too. As an organizer for the conference I had to returned to Astara. And just then, along with other visitors, I got acquainted with Аli Аbdoli.
The judge: Who else, beside you, have received these visitors? Where and with whom had you met?
H.Mamedov: The famous Iranian theologian Haruni Shafigi Ambarani and his students were among the visitors. Head of the ROMC Haji Аllahshukur Pashazadeh and some official representatives of authorities who came to meet with them. The head of the Executive Committee of Astary had provided a minibus for them by which we came to Baku. And there we had several meetings, including meeting with the former candidate to presidents of republic, president National Creative Academy Nizami Suleymanov , with authorities of Institute of History, with the students of the Baku State University, with worshipers of the mosque « Taza Pir » and with the activists of RTCC. In the last meeting they got acquainted with Novruzali Mammadov and Seyfullah Asadullayev. Nizami Suleymanov granted the degree of honorary academician to Kharuni Shafigi and honorable doctor to Ali Abdoli.
Novruzali Mamedov: Hilal, I am grateful to you for the detailed information on the events, I have several questions to you, too. First, had I met with them and with A.Abdoli at least once? Secondly, who has took those visitors from Аstara to Iran?
H.Mammadov: As I informed the Court, we were opposing with N Mammadov. Therefore, they did not meet any more. And as to the visitors retuning from Astara to Iran, they were escorted by the representatives of the executive committee of Astara district with my personal participation. As I noted, I was personally part of receiving the visitors and also seeing them off .
Guliyev Elman : (Approximately after 10-15 minutes continuos speech and upon the demand by the Judge Guliyev Elman concretized the question): When I was in Iran, the aganet of secret service (?) of Iran Аli Аbdolli told me that he had assigned you several tasks when he had met with you and you accepted to fulfill those tasks. I recalculate it once again: 1) 2) … 10) …, etc. In short, my concrete question is: “What else has he assigned you to fulfill?
H.Mammadov: Elman, before answering your question I have one small question: “Would you have asked me such questions if you were out?
E.Guliyev: -No, I wouldn’t.
H.Mammadov: Elman, thank you for the frank and honest answer. I perfectly understand, you do all this for the sake of protecting yourself from the jail. As the defender of the rights of not only Novruzali Mammadov, but also yours, I forgive you. You can accuse me of anything that comprehensible or incomprehensible to mind if you think it can help you. I promise you that I will help you anyway and do whatever possible.
Yes, you are right, we discussed with Аli Аbdoli the issues articulated by you, issues concerning the mutual development of cultures of our people living in Iran and in Azerbaijan. And all these were consistent with laws of Iran and Azerbaijan. Yes, I promised him, that we should extensively work in this direction.
E.Guliyev: Well, and what of his tasks did you promise to fulfill?
H. Mammadov: For example, as you so-called, in accordance with the responsible tasks of the Iranian intelligence agencies to go to village of Separadi in Lenkoran region with an aim to set up the ensemble of «nanalar» («grannies») , Talysh women’s chorus. By involving the old traditional women to encourage them to sing Talysh folk songs.
E.Guliyev: You are mocking at me in vain ( reacted to the people laughing in the hall). I will be compelled to complain of all. Today I have enough quantity of the facts confirming that Аli Аbdoli is the official of the Iranian intelligence services, both Hilal Mammadov and Novruzali Mammadov carried on separate negotiations with him.
H.Mammadov: Elman, how can you prove, that Аli Аbduli is actually from intelligence agencies of Iran?
E.Guliyev: He has two wives …
(Laughter in the hall)
H.Mammadov (with joke): Elman, then those Muslim men having 4 wives, likely are agents of special services of 4 countries simultaneously?
The judge (laughing, too): Elman Kuliyev, please, ask the witness the questions concerning the issue. I take down the question « about two wives ». And you, the witness, I please, answer the questions precisely.
E.Guliyev: Well, Hilal Mammadov, tell, where were you on May 20, 1992 and what were you busy in?
H. Mammadov: Sorry, Elman…
E.Guliyev: I want to ask, where have you been with Аli Аbduli and what confidential negotiations have you conducted with him?
The judge: Hilal Mammadov, answer seriously, in fact you have taken an oath that you’ll be called to account in case of giving false evidence.
H.Mammadov: Well, mister Judge. Actually, I do not remember precisely, where and with whom was I 16 years ago. But, leaning on article written by me in «Тоlishi Sado», I can tell, that I was together with the Iranian visitors (among them was and Аli Аbduli) in village Pensar of Astara region.
E.Guliyev: Right, right…you were there. I want, that you have answered, what tasks you have been given during the conversation with you?
H.Mammadov:Elman, But I told you, that there we discussed plans of "recruitment" of old women from the village Separadi for organizing an ensemble «Nanalar» («Grannies»).
(Again laughter in the hall)
E.Guliyev: Mister Judge, tell him, he scoffs over me again.
The public prosecutor: Well, I shall interrogate the witness. Hilal Mammadov, answer, please, were there any confidential negotiations between you and what did you discuss? Say concretely, “yes” or “no”?!
H.Mammadov: Mr. public prosecutor, never and nowhere I looked for and used the confidential ways in my socio-political sruggle, and with Аli Аbduli I talked together with all.
Public prosecutor: It’s clear, thanks. Elman, ask other questions.
E.Guliyev. The honorable public prosecutor, didn’t you hear from Hajibaba Azimov (a former member of parliament) that “H Mammadov is the agent of KGB of Russia” and carries out their tasks?
The judge: Mammadov, that’s enough, but once I warned you to approach the Court seriously. At the same time, E.Guliyev, putting questions don’t forget that H. Mammadov is not under inquest and the litigation is not devoted to him. If there is no more questions, that’ll do.
E.Guliyev: There is, there is… Why not?! (Rummages in his papers, tries to speak about the history headed by H.Mammadov, about the events ТМAR. The Judge interrupts him, that it has no relation to litigation).
E.Guliyev: Yes, yes, I remembered… And the witness B.Ganbarov has testified that Hilal Mammadov has invited him to the onference of talishes in Yerevan (and speaks about it). Let him express his opinion in this occasion …
H. Mammadov: Mr. Judge, this famous conference is already familiar to the public and if it is connected with today's process I can give some informations.
(Addressing to Elman (with a joke): Elman, be assured, precisely I am not « the Armenian agent at all»!)
The judge. No, I cancel the question.
E.Guliyev: Why, Mr. Judge, it’s just connected. Isn’t it so that Ali Abduli and Pokravesh have financed this conference and H. Mammadov was entrusted to go there?!
The public prosecutor (seeing, that E.Guliyev drivels too much, addressing to H.Mammadov): H.Mammadov, please, answer it precisely "yes" or " not ".
H.Mammadov: -No, not so.
The public prosecutor: -The answer is clear, thanks.
(On this process Novruzali Mammadov has also answered to some attitudes of E.Guliyev).
The lawyer: Mr. Judge, how much is it possible to listen this show of E.Kuliyev? I ask you, not to pledge him any more. Certainly, I consider, it is possible to return to this theme that directly concerned the essence of this issue. For example, in occasion of the Yerevan conference, I shall say, questions occurred to me concerning this issue.
If I am not mistaken, there have been taken corresponding declarations by many people, including H. Mammadov, A. Abduli and N. Mammadov in connection with this conference.
I’d like to ask H. Mammadov when did it happen, what was the essence of the declaration and to whom was this address handed. I ask this question because there is enough ambiguities namely on this issue concerning the “matter of H. Mammadov”…
The public prosecutor: I also wish bring clearness to th “theme of Yerevan conference” as not once in the materials of this “matter” is dealt with…