Open Azerbaijan

Analytic Portal

PACE INTRODUCES SANCTIONS AGAINST 13 FORMER MEMBERS IN CONNECTION WITH AZERBAIJAN

22.08.2018 / MPs Elkhan Suleymanov, Muslum Mammadov and National Council member Gultakin Hajibayli also on the list

On June 27, the PACE Committee on Rules of Procedure published its report on the conduct of the parliamentarians named in the report of the Independent Investigation Body, in connection with corruption allegations.

The report assessed the conduct of 14 former members, 13 of which eventually incurred penalties.

They have been banned from entering the buildings of the Council of Europe and PACE for breaching the Code of Conduct, lobbying activities, involvement in corruption and refusing to submit testimony to the Independent Investigation Body. The list of these former members is as follows: Spanish MP Agustin Conde, Belgian MPs Alain Destexhe and Stef Goris, Polish MP Tadeusz Iwinski, Slovenian MP Jenincic Plemeniti, Finnish MP Jaakko Laakso, Swedish MP Göran Lindblad, German MPs Eduard Lintner and Karin Strenz, Italian MP Luca Volonte, and Norwegian MP Karin Woldseth.

It was also revealed that the PACE Monitoring Committee co-rapporteur on Azerbaijan, Swiss MP Andreas Gross, also violated the Code of Conduct by refusing to cooperate with the Investigation Body.

The same prohibitions were introduced against three former members of the Azerbaijani delegation.

The report also revealed evidence of acts of corruption by two Azerbaijani MPs, Elkhan Suleymanov and Muslum Mammadov, who were subsequently dismissed from the PACE delegation. Their names appear repeatedly in the report. Despite this, they did not respond to a request for oral testimony and refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Interestingly enough, the committee also introduced a similar ban against Gultakin Hajibayli, a former member of the Azerbaijani PACE delegation, and now a member of the coordination centre of the National Council of Democratic Forces, an umbrella group of Azerbaijani opposition. The report states that Hajibayli failed to respond to the Investigation Body's request to submit written testimony, as well as to the letter from the committee's chairman. No explanation was given for these failures to act.

Hajibayli commented on the issue on her Facebook page, denying she had received any such requests or mail. The former MP later commented that the appeals addressed to her were presented to the Azerbaijani delegation's secretariat, and the latter had not delivered them further to the addressee.