Socar’s Turab Musayev had a controlling interest in Cifidex Ltd despite his denials, the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation said on Friday, citing emails it had uncovered as evidence.

Cifidex Ltd bought 99 per cent of shares in a Montenegro wind farm for €2.9m in 2015 and sold them two weeks later to Enemalta plc for €10.3m, booking a massive profit. 

It purchased the wind farm shares with €3m borrowed from 17 Black, a United Arab Emirates company owned by murder suspect Yorgen Fenech. After Cifidex sold the shares to Enemalta, the company repaid the €3m to 17 Black, plus an additional €4.6m “profit share”.

Musayev has previously denied any interest in Seychelles-based Cifidex and has threatened the media, including Times of Malta, with legal action through his London lawyers Atkins Thomson.

The Azeri-British national represented Azerbaijan’s interest in Electrogas Malta Ltd, the energy company murdered journalist Caruana Galizia was investigating, the foundation said.

Times of Malta reported in January that Musayev had resigned from the Electrogas board in December, soon after Yorgen Fenech was charged with complicity in Caruana Galizia’s murder.

He was a business associate of Yorgen Fenech, the Electrogas shareholder and former director and owner of 17 Black. He stands charged with commissioning Caruana Galizia’s murder.

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How the Foundation found a Musayev link

The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation searched for all domains ever registered that contained the word “cifidex” and found cifidex.com and cifidexrenewables.com, which were registered between 2014 and 2018.

Both domains’ registration had expired over two years ago.

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The foundation registered the two domains and set up automatic “catch-all” email forwarding for both.

The set-up forwarded any email sent to any address linked to either domain directly to the foundation. The foundation then received automated weekly emails from an online backup service, reporting the status of a scheduled backup from the Gmail account of stefano.panniello@cifidex.com to the OneDrive account of Turab Musayev.

Although Musayev’s registration of the cifidex.com domain had expired, the automated reporting service kept running because it was installed to the cifidex.com G Suite account.

G Suite is a set of services provided by Google that allows applications such as Gmail and Google Drive to be used with any domain. Once G Suite is set up with a domain, the account remains active and partially usable after the domain expires.

The automated weekly emails received by the foundation provide documentary evidence that Musayev did have a controlling interest in Cifidex, and further evidence that Musayev and Fenech were part of an organisation that set out to defraud the Maltese public, the foundation said.

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