Azerbaijani mayor suspected of stealing coronavirus handouts for the unemployed, others
The head of the executive branch in the Bilasuvar region in southern Azerbaijan has been detained on suspicion of misappropriating financial assistance allocated by the government for people affected by the coronavirus quarantine.
He was detained on April 29, and on April 30, President Ilham Aliyev dismissed him from his post.
There is still very little information available on the incident.
All that is known is that several complaints were filed against Mahir Guliyev, head of the Bilasuvar District, after which special forces carried out an operation in the executive branch building and Guliyev was detained. Several other local officials were also detained, as well as the chief doctor of the district hospital.
This is already at least the third case in six months when chief executives in Azerbaijan have been detained and arrested on charges of bribery, theft and other similar crimes.
This usually causes a specific reaction among the public: people are less surprised by the fact that the official committed these crimes than by the fact that they were arrested.
Municipal chief executives (especially in the provinces) are seen as overlords who almost always abuse their authority but are rarely held responsible. The trend of holding them accountable for their actions is a relatively recent development.