Arrests of corrupt officials continue in Baku, this time – Azerbaijani ambassador to Serbia
The Azerbaijani ambassador to Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Eldar Hasanov, was arrested on 13 August in Baku on charges of embezzling budget funds.
This arrest is another in a series of detentions of officials, including high-ranking officials, which began in December 2019.
A short list of “purges” of the government in Azerbaijan
In December 2019, the head of the executive branch of an Azerbaijani region was arrested. He was accused of corruption and embezzlement of public funds.
Following on a similar charge, four more heads of districts were arrested, and then the deputy minister of culture and tourism was detained as well.
In May 2020, several senior military officials were arrested, again on charges of abuse of office and official forgery. Among them was the Deputy Head of the Border Service, Afgan Nagiyev, a general who has won many awards, including the Order of Merit for the Fatherland.
And in July 2020, there was a particularly loud case, when several officials in important positions in the Foreign Ministry were arrested for bribes. In their defense, they said that 80% of the bribes received were spent “on solving the problems of the ministry.”
On July 16, 2020, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, who had served in the position for 15 years and was considered an influential figure in the country, was dismissed.
Little is known about the arrest of the Azerbaijani ambassador to Serbia.
Eldar Hasanov arrived in Baku on August 10 together with a delegation of the Serbian government led by the Deputy Prime Minister, and was arrested immediately after the departure of the delegation.
Hasanov is a former prosecutor general.
From 2001 to 2013, he was the ambassador of Azerbaijan to Romania.
Questions concerning Eldar Hasanov arose during the investigation of the aforementioned bribery case at the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.
Allegations that he had misused significant budgetary funds eventually led to his detention.