Sentence for ex-member of Komi State Council accused of swindling to be reviewed

Sentence for ex-member of Komi State Council accused of swindling to be reviewed
Akif Sayadov

Prosecutors seek a 10-year sentence for Akif Sayadov, while protection insists on full acquittal.

Prosecutors and lawyers appealed against the conviction of 65-year-old ex-Director General of Ukhtaneftegazgeologia Open Joint Stock Company Akif Sayadov, which was passed in August by the Ukhta City Court, Kommersant reported. The businessman is accused of seven Misappropriation counts (Art. 160 of the Criminal Code), Swindling (Art. 159), Abuse of Authority (Art. 201) and the Legalization of Funds obtained by criminal means (Art. 174.1). According to investigators, the director was stealing the funds of his company. Among other things, it is stated that at his order, the contract settles were included in the accounting records for a certain company called Komitet po Nagradam i Zvaniyam (Committee on Awards and Ranks). This way, Akif Sayadov received the Order of "Honorary Citizen of Russia," signature wrist watches, and a service ribbon.

The defendant insisted on his complete innocence. His defense argued that the charges of embezzlement occurred because of the mistakes made by accountants. In addition, Sayadov voluntarily reimbursed all the damage attributed to him as early as in 2013. As a result, the court withdrew some of the charge from Akif Sayadov and sentenced him to four years in prison.

The judgment did not suit either party. Both the prosecution and the defense appealed to the Supreme Court of Komi. The supervisory authority considers the punishment too soft and asks 10 years in prison for the ex-Director General, while the defense requested to fully acquit Sayadov.

It should be noted that the verdict in Ukhta was declared in the absence of the defendant, who was in the Blokhin Oncology Center in Moscow with a diagnosis of third degree follicular lymphoma. As Akif Sayadov’s lawyer Igor Kopenkin told Kommersant, Sayadov now has malignant tumors, inflamed in the lymph nodes almost throughout the whole body. After the sentence had been passed, Akif Sayadov left the hospital in Moscow and went to Ukhta. He is currently in the 18th city hospital in Syktyvkar, in a special bloc for prisoners. His lawyers claim that Sayadov is not granted proper medical care, he almost cannot walk because of the severe pain and often loses consciousness.

The diagnosis of the accused is on the list of diseases, which are an obstacle to the detention. In this regard, lawyers filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). According to Kopenkin, the Russian representative in the court acknowledged the violations and offered a compensation of 800 euros. Sayadov refused it, insisting on carrying out the procedures in the ECHR.

It is noteworthy that in 2014, after the arrest of the businessman, a full-scale campaign in his support started in Komi. Sayadov has credibility among oil and gas producers as the former CEO of the oil company, as well as among the other people of the Republic of Komi as a member of the State Council. Among other things, Sayadov is one of the informal leaders of the Azerbaijani diaspora.

According to the businessman's lawyer, during the preliminary investigation, law enforcers repeatedly tried to persuade Sayadov to cooperate and provide them the necessary information on a number of senior officials and major regional businessmen. In exchange for this information, Sayadov was promised a mitigated punishment with subsequent extradition to Azerbaijan for treatment.

Sayadov’s representatives claim that the the former Head of Ukhtaneftegazgeologia was arrested and convicted not because of his entrepreneurial activity. They link it to his work in the State Council for the Inta single-mandate constituency, where he allegedly ran crossed the path of some influential people. In particular, he dealt with the situation of the miners at the Intaugol mine, who complained about the delayed salary. In this regard, Akif Sayadov, as a member of the State Councl, turned to the correctional facility Tavrichesky - the then owner of the actual coal-mining enterprise. This company was repeatedly mentioned in connection with the scandalous corruption case of a criminal association, one of its organizers being the former Head of Komi Vyacheslav Gayzer.

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