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Reporter's Notes To 'TeliaSonera's Behind-The-Scenes Connection To Azerbaijani President's Daughters'

Leyla (left) and Arzu (center) Aliyeva at the opening in Baku of an "Azerbaijan in Cannes" cultural event. (file photo)
Leyla (left) and Arzu (center) Aliyeva at the opening in Baku of an "Azerbaijan in Cannes" cultural event. (file photo)

Journalist Khadija Ismayilova compiled the following list of helpful links during her reporting for her story for the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project on Teliasonera's ties to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's daughters:

Hughson Management SA Panama incorp doc - Aliyeva and Mestelan

Hising Management SA - Arzu Aliyeva, Leyla Aliyeva, Olivier Mestelan
Incorporation documents of Hising Management SA from Panama registry.

Rashad Hamzayev award decree for Azercell story
Rashad Hamzayev received medal for Service to Motherland

Ata Holding emission prospect Olivier Mestelan for Azercell story
Ata Holding share emission prospect with Olivier Mestelan in the board

TeliaSonera Statement on Azercell privatization in 2008

Information requests
Inquiries to TeliaSonera, Cenay Iletishim and Azercell Telekom

Fintur Holding shareholders
Fintur Holding shareholders according to their website

Azertel finance charts by 2012
Azertel finance charts, investment and dividends calculations by shareholder and year

Dilsan Investment SA docs for Azercell story
Dilsan Investment SA incorporation documents from Panama Registry

FA INvest all docs for Azercell story
Incorporation documents from Maltese registry and Turkish registry for FA Invest Malta Limited

Azertel all documents together - Azercell
Azertel incorporation documents from Turkish registry

Cenay Iletishim all docs together _ Azercell
Incorporation documents of Cenay Iletishim from Turkish registry

2008 investment and share change Azercell
17 MART 2008 change in capital of Azertel - published in Sicil gazetesi # 7031 page 149 (This happens right after privatization of Azerbaijani state's share in Azercell)

2008 share change in Azercell - explanatory graph
17 MART 2008 change in capital of Azertel - published in Sicil gazetesi # 7031 page 149 (This happens right after privatization of Azerbaijani state's share in Azercell)

Bakcell emission prospect - info on shareholder
Share emission prospect of Bakcell and info on shareholder

Bakcell shareholder GTIB1996
Incorporation document of Bakcell's shareholder GTIB 1996 (BVI)

Telia Sonera’s summary of finding

Calculation: here Telia says it’s direct and indirect ownership of Fintur is 74 %.

we calculated 74 % of 51,3 % with this formula: 51,3/100*74=37.96

Türkiye sicil gazetesi sayi 6434 sayfa 288

Dilsan İnvestment incorporation document page 635323601022317349

Khadija Ismayilova investigation on Azerfon. Panama documents

cenay iletisim dec 2005 mestelan signature

In order to reduce TeliaSonera’s risk exposure the following measures have been taken:

Agreements with business partners have been renegotiated and in some cases terminated…
Source: Summary of the internal audit of Teliasonera

Email exchange with press service of Teliasonera and Salomon Berkele

1Q Hi,

My name is Khadija Ismayilova, I am a journalist working with OCCRP ( and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty ( I am doing a research on one of your subsidiaries - Azercell. You are kindly requested to answer following questions:

Please describe ownership structure of Azercell (which is owned by Azertel). TeliaSonera website indicates that it owns 38 percent of the shares. Who owns the rest of the shares?

I am under tough deadline, so please be kind to answer these questions till tomorrow.

1 A Hi,

You find all facts in our Eurasia factobook.

Just call or email us if you have any other questions.

Kind regards

Iréne Krohn
Senior Media Relations Manager, Group Communication
Mobile +46 706662614 Phone +46 850462033

Follow us on Twitter @TLSN_Media

2Q Dear Ms Krohn,

Thank you very much for prompt answer. I do have this factbook in print. What I need to know is who are owners of the Cenay Iletishim and FA Invest, your business partners in Azertel.

Thank you,


2A Hi Khadija,

If you have questions regarding Cenay Iletishim and FA Invest I kindly refer you to contact them directly.

Kind regards


3.Q Dear Ms Krohn,

I have researched together with my colleagues at OCCRP ( the ownership structure of Azercell Azerbaijan where Telia Sonera is a partner and I found out that one member of the consortium running the Azeri telecom company, namely Cenay Iletisim, is connected to the Azerbaijani president's family.

Could you please explain how did your company partner up with Cenay Iletisim and could you please expand on the nature of Telia Sonera's investment in Azercell? Have you met with members of the Azerbaijani's president family?

How much did Cenay Iletisim invested in this partnership? How was the partnership built? Why did you choose to work with this company?

In June 2011, the name of the Azertel signatory Olivier Mestelan appeared in scandal with Azercell's competitor in the market - Azerfon

Are Azerfon and Azercell competitors in the market?

3A. Dear Ms Khadija Ismayilova,

Fintur Holding, owned by TeliaSonera and Turkcell, holds a stake in Azercell which has remained at 51.3 percent through the years, while the ownership of the remaining stake has changed as described in the Eurasian fact book which you have read. It is worth pointing out that since the changes in ownership of Azercell were carried out the board and management of TeliaSonera has changed. From April 2013 TeliaSonera has a new board, and a new CEO took office in September last year. At this month’s AGM our Chair reported on the board of director’s review of transactions, agreements and partnerships in our Eurasian operations. On our website there Is a summary of the review, describing its scope and methodology as well as the conclusions and measures taken. Azerbaijan is part of the scope, and for the reasons spelled out in the summary and in the Chair’s speech we will not go into further detail. The link below will direct you to our site where you can read the summary and the speech.

Kind regards,

Salomon Bekele

Head of External Communication


4Q Dear Mr Bekele,

In my previous email I have asked very specific questions. Please let me know if you are going to answer them.

In addition to those questions:

Summary reads that some measures had been taken and are being taken in terms of the transactions, causing concerns. What kind of measure are being taken in Azerbaijan? Did you terminate the partnership with Cenay Iletisim and FA Invest?

Thank you,

Khadija Ismayilova

4A Dear Ms Ismayilova

I have answered your previous questions. The summary of the boards review of transactions, and the Chairs speech, is the level of detail we will give on measures taken. Cenay Iletisim and FA Invest are as you can see on page 12 in the TeliaSonera Eurasia fact book owners of Azercell.

Kind regards,

Salomon Bekele