PACE Deprived Two Deputies from Azerbaijan of Access

On June 27, the website of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe published the Report of the independent investigative body on allegations of corruption in the Parliamentary Assembly of certain members of parliament and former PACE members.

The report names the names of 29 deputies who were found guilty of violating ethical norms, which was reflected in the facts of corruption.

Some of these deputies were found guilty of receiving money and gifts from representatives of Azerbaijan with the aim of lobbying the interests of the Azerbaijani authorities in PACE.

Thus, the Committee found that Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti received in July 2012 25 000 euros from one of the British companies involved in the Laundromat scandal.

“There is a suspicion that he acted in favor of Azerbaijan during the monitoring of the elections,” the report says. With this in mind, Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti is denied the right to access the Council of Europe for life.

Similar decisions on lifelong depriving of access to the PACE were also made by the Committee regarding the deputies Karin Strenz, Karin Woldseth and Luca Volontè (key figure in receiving money from the Azerbaijani authorities).

As the organizers of the transfer of funds, the report names Azerbaijani MPs Muslim Mammadov and Elkhan Suleymanov who are also denied access to PACE for life for involvement in corruption and violation of ethical standards.

The Committee also notes that the aforementioned individuals refused to cooperate and answer questions of the commission investigating the facts of corruption.

The former deputy from Azerbaijan, Gultakin Hajibeyli, whose powers were terminated in 2010, was also named among those deprived of access to the PACE. The Report noted that there was a minor breach of ethical rules in her actions.