The foreign ministers of Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey have signed the ‘Action Plan for Trilateral Sectoral Co-operation for 2017–2019’ in Baku, marking another step in the trilateral format initiated five years ago. The meetings passed without mention of either Afgan Mukhtarli, a journalist, abducted from Tbilisi to Baku, and school manager Mustafa Emre Çabuk, who is currently being deported on Turkey’s request.
An independent external investigatory body of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is to look into allegations of corruption made against a number of current and former members of the Assembly. The investigation follows an article by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) detailing a $2.9 billion laundering scheme operated by the Azerbaijani authorities, which was allegedly used to bribe high level EU and UN figures.
Two years after the twice devaluation of the manat and three years after world oil prices plummeted, official statistics in Azerbaijan suggest a rosy picture of the economy. Meanwhile, local companies continue to shut down, each day adding more people to the country’s army of unemployed.
Baku Court of Appeals rejected an appeal on 30 August by Mehman Aliyev, the head of independent news outlet the Turan Information Agency, for the charges against him to be dropped. Aliyev was arrested last week on charges of ‘tax evasion’ and ‘abuse of power’; rights groups and several Western governments have called for his release. [Read more…]
Elchin Ismayilli, a political activist and journalist in Azerbaijan’s Ismayilli District, who had been charged with extortion and abuse of power in February, faces at least ten years in prison after the prosecutor’s office changed the charge to bribery. The court hearing is set for 24 August. Ismayilli pleads innocent. [Read more…]
An Israeli defence firm has been accused of carrying out a live fire demonstration for Azerbaijan against an Armenian military target. According to Israeli news site the Times of Israel, a copy of a complaint filed with the Israeli Ministry of Defence against Aeronautics Defence Systems was leaked to Israeli daily Maariv.