20 Aug 2021
By Kelly Bloss, OCCRP, 18 August 2021
OCCRP – Prosecutor in Azerbaijan completed on Monday their investigation of one of the country’s former ambassadors whom they accused of embezzling more than 28.3 million euro (US$33.14 million) in state funds and sent his case to the Court of Grave Crimes.
Investigators believe that a small group of people including Eldar Hasanov, the long-term ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, misappropriated or misused the millions between 2010-2020. Hasanov has been accused on five counts, including the abuse of his position as ambassador.
He was detained and subsequently stripped of his post a few days after he arrived home from Belgrade a year ago. The other suspects are being investigated separately, the statement said. One of them was detained shortly after the ambassador was.
Through his lawyer Javad Javadov, Hasanov called the accusations against him baseless and said that he believes in the justice of the president.
“I state unequivocally that the accusations are not based on any credible evidence, and procedural grounds, but on the basis of assumptions,” Hasanov said. He said that the real reason behind his detention was retaliation for his criticism during a closed meeting of some Azeri officials who were not acting in the interest of Azerbaijan.
He said he will reveal the names of two people who consider themselves close to the president and who had spread false information about him, causing his arrest.
In early August, Javadov issued another statement saying Hasanov’s health was in critical condition. The former ambassador’s daughter Sabina Huseynova appealed to the vice-president of the country, Mehriban Aliyeva, to release her father from prison and put him under house arrest.
Read more at OCCRP
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