‘Caviar Diplomacy’ Scandal Explodes in Italy

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ROME (Armenpress) — The Azerbaijani caviar diplomacy became a criminally punishable act for the first time. The Italian Rai TV Channel broadcast a report on Italian Member of Parliament Luca Volontè’s pro-Azerbaijani activity and bribery.

The report says the Milan Police and Prosecution launched a criminal case against Volontè in February 2016, who is a former MP of the Christian-Democratic Party and is the former Chairman of the European People’s Party faction at the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE).

Volontè is accused of taking a bribe of 2.4 million Euros from Azerbaijan in 2012-2013. Instead, he was being used by official Baku in the Italian Parliament and the PACE. The head of the Azerbaijani delegation at PACE Elkhan Suleymanov reportedly transferred the money to Volontè, and the coordination works were carried out by the Brussels-based Azerbaijani lobbying organization. The criminal case launched against Volontè is composed of two parts: Bribery and money laundering. It is important to state that Volontè keeps silent and refuses to talk with the investigators.

The report prepared by the Italian Rai TV Channel includes a wide geography, being shot in Rome, Milan, Strasbourg, Brussels, Nagorno Karabakh, as well as in Yerevan. The crew was not allowed to enter Baku.

In the report there are also references to the Four-day war in April, 2016. The report says this is the first criminal case in the PACE countries under the topic of caviar diplomacy.

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