The imprisoned investigative journalist says this week’s revelations of massive bribes in the Azerbaijani telecoms industry explain why no one would answer her questions–and why she is in jail today.
The question of why the state’s share was sold so cheap has always been there. When my investigation made clear that those companies were related to the president’s family, we got the answer to that question. Now it appears they did not even pay for those shares. It is an obvious bribe.
Once a human rights defender from Uzbekistan told me about TeliaSonera and that if one percent of the money they gave as bribe had been give to civil society initiatives to stop corruption, they would not be stuck paying bribes. This is a shame for us and for the Swedish government.
Now I understand why TeliaSonera was not so willing to answer my questions. A year before the investigation, there was a Global Internet Governance forum in Baku. I asked a representative of TeliaSonera who its shareholders were. They did not answer. Later, I asked this same question on Twitter. Later on, I investigated the issue and found out. That was my last investigation.
This investigation, along with others, is the reason for my arrest. More ınvestigations of this kind are needed. That’s because black money helps governments to keep their nations enslaved. Plus, it strengthens the notion of that ‘Europeans are also involved in corruption,’ thus, people lose the confidence in the existence of alternative and corruption-free societies.
When it comes to Azercell, it is very dangerous for information technologies to be in the hands of one family. And now there is not any communication or internet in Azerbaijan that is beyond the control of that family.
An $8 million villa on Dubai’s luxurious Palm Jumeirah has been controlled for years by the family of Igor Shuvalov, Russia’s former first deputy prime minister. Its ownership structure shows how the wealthy use offshores to obscure their assets.
Documents obtained by Reuters and the Daphne Project show two Panamanian companies owned by two Maltese politicians – one the Energy Minister and one the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff -- expected to get payments from an offshore company connected to the man who won a key government concession to build a large power plant.