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 remakrs 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 Feb. 13 decision of the Milan court confirmed that information disseminated through a structure called Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), established in mid-2017 for opaque and well-known purposes upon order of anti-Azerbaijan networks and centers, is unfounded and biased, and also confirmed that this is aimed at tarnishing Azerbaijan's healthy international image, 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 $2.64 from Azerbaijan,” Hasanov said.
He reminded that at that time Azerbaijan disseminated an appeal noting that these allegations are biased, unreasonable, provocative and are an integral part of the slander campaign organized by well-known circles against Azerbaijan.
“As we can see, this was also confirmed by an objective investigation of the Milan court,” Ali Hasanov said.
He 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.
“We intend to launch the relevant legal proceedings in connection with those involved in this slander campaign,” he noted. “The relevant state agencies of Azerbaijan have already been instructed regarding this issue. We believe that those who organize international campaigns against states, structures, individuals under cover of democracy and freedom of speech should realize responsibility for this and be punished,” he added.
© APA 2018