BAKU. September 12, 2008: A group of residents of Nardaran village, which is located in the suburbs of Baku, accused the former US ambassador Stanley Escudero of seizure of their lands. They said at today’s press conference in the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety that the former US ambassador claimed the ownership of 30 hectares of land, which had been owned by Nardaran residents since long time ago.
The residents of the village also said there was a court decision on ownership of this land by Jabrail Salmanov, whose daughter Nigar is Escudero’s daughter-in-law. However, Nardaran residents claim that the lands have never been owned by Salmanov. The case is now tried at the plenum of the Supreme Court.
Ragif Musayev, the lawyer, who represents the Nardaran residents said the previous court decisions were absolutely groundless and illegal.
Nardaran’s residents said if the matter was not resolved in their favor, they would stage an action of protest. They said they were ready to get into contact with Stanley Escudero, but there was no response to their request from the US embassy in Baku. They threatened to boycott the presidential elections, if the matter was not resolved in their favor.
The issue of legal contest is about a piece of land between Nardaran and Bilgah districts. According to the law, the beach cannot be privatized, but the law was violated in the past years, by the state officials themselves.
Stanley Escudero was the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan from 1997 to 2000 and prior to that he was Ambassador to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
As soon as he left the diplomatic service, Escudero led consulting service in Azerbaijan named Shield Bearer LLC. Currently, Escudero is the vice president of the US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce. Opposition media reported that Escudero is business partner of many Azeri state officials and lobbies interests of Baku in Washington (Turan).