Ali Hasanov: Legal proceedings to be initiated against organizers, executors of anti-Azerbaijani campaign
Legal proceedings will be initiated against organizers and executors of anti-Azerbaijan campaign, Azerbaijani President's Assistant for Public and Political Affairs Ali Hasanov told APA.
Hasanov made the remarks commenting on the acquittal decision of an Italian court regarding Luca Volonte, the former chair of the European People's Party group in PACE, who was accused of corruption ties with Azerbaijan.
The decision passed by the Milan Court on 13 February 2018 confirmed that the reports released by a non-transparent organization, called Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), at the request of certain anti-Azerbaijani centers and networks in the middle of last year, are unfounded, biased and aimed at spoiling Azerbaijan’s international reputation, the official noted.
“With such fake reports, these anti-Azerbaijan centers and networks were seeking to target not only the state of Azerbaijan but also well-known individuals with a friendly attitude towards Azerbaijan, including socio-political figures, experts, journalists, and to turn them into objects of criticism. It is no coincidence that the OCCRP material titled “The Azerbaijani laundromat” quickly spread in the world media. The issue drew attention from different countries’ instances and a special investigation was launched against people mentioned in that document including Luca Volonte, the former chair of the European People's Party group in PACE, who was accused of receiving 2,640,000 dollars from Azerbaijan,” Hasanov said.
“I would like to remind that at that time, we stated that the allegations made the OCCRP were biased, groundless, provocative, and were part of the anti-Azerbaijani campaign unleashed by certain circles. Apparently, the Milan court’s objective investigation has also confirmed this,” he added.
Hasanov stressed that the Azerbaijani government is well aware of the organizers and executors of such a smear campaign aimed at discrediting Azerbaijan and its partners.
"The government does not intend to limit itself only to the decision of the Milan court. We intend to launch legal proceedings against those involved in these activities. Azerbaijan’s relevant government agencies have already been given appropriate instructions. We believe that those who, under the guise of democracy and freedom of speech, organize campaigns against different states, organizations and individuals should realize their responsibility and be accountable for their actions,” the official said.