Politics 14:41 23/11/2016 Region

Italian TV channel on Azerbaijan’s “Caviar diplomacy”: president Aliyev gets rich on account of state funds

Paolo Mondani – journalist of the Italian TV channel Rai 3 – prepared a TV program dedicated to Azerbaijan’s so-called “Caviar diplomacy.”

The journalist met Armenian MP Samvel Farmanyan. In the interview, the MP notes that when he started his activity in the Council of Europe, he realized that he had to face lobbyists working for Azerbaijan. Among them, Farmanyan names Italian politician Luca Volontè – former head of the European People's Party faction in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), and Pedro Agramunt – the current chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, who defended Azerbaijan’s interests in exchange for money.

German deputy of the council of Europe, Christoph Strässer, notes that oil-rich Azerbaijan generally spends its finances on corrupt projects. The country buys influence with the help of money. And the 2 million spent on the lobbyists is a good investment.

However, it should be noted that those investments do not enthuse the country’s population. On September 17 of the current year, the opposition discontent with the president Ilham Aliyev’s government held meetings. The protesters had posters with the photos of political prisoners. It was stated during the meeting that the government should use the country’s resources in the population’s favor instead of investing in foreign countries.

“The Aliyevs have been ruling the country for already 23 years. At first, former president Heydar Aliyev falsified the voting results during elections, then the power was handed to his son Ilham Aliyev in 2003,” Ali Kerimli – leader of the Azerbaijani Popular Front Party – said. According to him, Aliyev has power over the parliament and judicial system of the country. All the other banks, holdings, and large corporations of the country are in the president’s hands.

The TV program also draws the viewer’s attention to the fact that the Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev’s name appeared in the documents of Panama's Mossack Fonseca, one of the biggest offshore service providers. Reportedly, in April 2016, Aliyev and his family members’ names were on the front pages of Panama papers.

Names of the president’s daughters are also included in Panama offshores. Leyla and Arzu Aliyevas use Panama investments in the USA under the guise of “philanthropy” in order to control a mobile communication company, the Azerbaijani Atabank and 6 goldfields.

However, before the publication of Panama papers, Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova had already disclosed the information about the Aliyevs’ offshore property. The journalist started her investigation in 2011. According to her, the president Aliyev’s family gets rich on account of state funds.

In January 2013, during voting in PACE, the report on 85 political prisoners in Azerbaijan was vetoed. German deputy of the council of Europe, Christoph Strässer, introduced the report for discussion. However, Italian politician Luca Volontè’s activity contributed to the rejection of the report. He received bribe from the Azerbaijani government in an amount equal to 2 million and 390 thousand euros for conducting activities in the interests of the Azerbaijani authorities.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) reported that using a network of secretive companies in offshore tax havens, Aliyev's clan, advisers and allies set about acquiring expensive overseas homes and positions in the country’s valuable industries and natural resources, including the family’s majority control of a major gold mine that has been unknown until now.

It was reported that in the middle of 2003, a few months before the October presidential elections, Azerbaijan’s Tax Minister Fazil Mammadov started to create AtaHolding - one of today’s biggest conglomerates in the country. Mammadov invited president Aliyev’s family to join him and create a potentially powerful and profitable business-political partnership.

According to ICIJ reports, AtaHolding is a corporation with an impressive share in Azerbaijan’s banking, telecommunication, construction, mining, and oil sectors. As of 2014, its action assets exceeded $490 million.

The leaked documents show that two years later, in 2005, president Aliyev's wife, MP Mehriban Aliyeva, was named one of two managers of the UF Universe Foundation, along with Fazil Mammadov. In attachments to a “High Importance” email sent to Mossack Fonseca in February 2005 by a lawyer representing the Aliyevs' clan, documents proposed that then six-year-old Heydar Aliyev, the president’s son who is known in the files as “A1,” be made the beneficiary of 20 percent of the foundation’s proceeds. The plan also proposed that the president’s two daughters, Leyla, then 19, and Arzu, then 17, would hold 15 percent each. Mammadov’s son held 30 percent while Ashraf Kamilov, a former tax ministry official, and other former tax officials held smaller stakes. So, too, did AtaHolding’s chairman, Ahmet Erentok.

Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:


Portuguese dog Bobi breaks record for oldest dog ever
A 30-year-old Portuguese dog has been named as the world's oldest ever by Guinness World Records - beating a record that stood for a...
Snow, fog in sight for Armenia
No precipitation is expected in Armenia on Saturday afternoon, while snow and fog are forecast for Saturday evening as well as the next few...
ICRC helps transfer six patients from Artsakh to Armenia for surgery
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has facilitated the transfer of six more severely ill patients requiring surgical...
Urartu signs Ukrainian defender Ivan Zotko
Ukrainian defender Ivan Zotko has joined Urartu FC, it said in a statement on Saturday. “We are happy to announce Urartu Football Club...
Why is Armenian society disappointed with Russia?
The Armenian society is disappointed with Russia because after the signing of the trilateral agreement of November 9, 2020, Russia did not act...
Human rights activist slams pro-government MP’s Artsakh statement
Human rights activist Zhanna Alexanyan has denounced the latest statement of MP Gurgen Arsenyan from Armenia’s ruling Civil Contract party...
Turkish Airlines cancels nearly 240 flights due to snow
Turkish Airlines has canceled 238 flights scheduled for Sunday and Monday due to heavy snow expected in Istanbul, RIA Novosti reported, citing...
Ruben Vardanyan stresses need to keep world's spotlight on Artsakh
Artsakh’s State Minister Ruben Vardanyan has stressed the need to keep the world's spotlight on the Artsakh issue. Vardanyan said...
Russian political analyst says there will be no return to pre-war situation
The West has waged a hybrid war against Russia, while Ukraine is only an instrument for the implementation of the Western policy, Russian...
World Cancer Day: 7,700 new cancer cases recorded in Armenia every year
World Cancer Day is observed annually on 4 February to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment....
Armenia celebrates St. Sarkis Day
Armenia celebrates St. Sarkis Day on Saturday, 4 February. The day has been designated a youth holiday by Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin...
Blinken postpones China visit after spy balloon
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has postponed his upcoming trip to China in response to the flying of a suspected Chinese spy balloon over...
International Association of Genocide Scholars condemns Azerbaijan's Artsakh blockade
The International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) has denounced Azerbaijan’s blockade of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and warned of...
Canada slaps new sanctions on Russia
Canada has extended its sanctions list by imposing restrictions on 38 individuals and 16 entities, which, in Ottawa’s version, are...
Snow, sleet in the forecast
No precipitation is expected in Armenia on Friday and overnight Saturday, while snow and fog are forecast for the next few days. Strong...
UK to be worst-performing major economy in 2023, IMF says
The UK economy will shrink and perform worse than other advanced economies, including Russia, as the cost of living continues to hit households,...
Pashinyan: Mutual trade in EAEU continues to show positive dynamics despite geopolitical tension
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan took part in the extended-format session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council in Almaty on Friday....
Oppositionist: Geopolitical bargaining at the expense of Artsakh people’s struggle unacceptable
A senior member of the opposition Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) blamed the Armenian authorities’ “incompetent” policies...
Authorities want to implement November 9 statement in line with Washington plan, says opposition MP
The Armenian authorities signed a Russian-brokered trilateral statement to end the war in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) on November 9, 2020, but...
Iru Khechanovi will sing for Georgia at Eurovision 2023
Iru Khechanovi has won 'The Voice' in Georgia, and with that, a ticket to represent her country at the Eurovision Song Contest in...
Armenia at the center of 'a conflict of interests', says opposition leader
The Armenian parliament started hearings on an opposition-drafted resolution condemning Azerbaijan’s ongoing blockade of Artsakh...
Up to 40 countries could boycott Paris Olympics
Up to 40 countries could boycott the next Olympic Games, making the whole event pointless, said Poland's sport and tourism minister Kamil...
Armenian parliament opposition holds hearings on Azerbaijan's Artsakh blockade
The main opposition Hayastan faction in the Armenian parliament started hearings on its draft resolution on Azerbaijan's blockade of Artsakh...
Artsakh FM sends letters to ambassadors of several countries in Armenia
Foreign Minister Sergey Ghazaryan of the Artsakh Republic on Friday sent letters to ambassadors of a number of countries accredited to...
Armenian MP: Unpredictability of regional situation adds to the danger
MP Tigran Abrahamyan of the opposition Pativ Unem faction warned of increasing tensions in the South Caucasus region which may lead to...
Armenian FM reportedly buys luxury villa near Yerevan
Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan bought a luxury villa in Kasakh, a village near the capital Yerevan, late last year, CivilNet has...
Rep. Pallone joins protest against Azerbaijan's Artsakh blockade
U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) joined a demonstration against Azerbaijan’s ongoing blockade of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) at...
New bill would ban kids under 16 from social media in U.S.
U.S. Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT) on Thursday introduced the Social Media Child Protection Act, which would make it unlawful for social...
Drivers warned over snow and ice in Armenia
Some roads are closed or difficult to pass in Armenia as of Friday morning, the Rescue Service reports. In particular, the roads linking the...
EU leaders visit Kyiv, pledge support for Ukrainian people
European Union leaders arrived Thursday in Kyiv with a message of support for the Ukrainian people, while Ukraine’s president warned of a...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}