'The decision of the Milan court to acquit Italian politician Luca Volonté confirmed that the reports disseminated by the OCCRP are groundless and biased. They are aimed at discrediting the international reputation of Azerbaijan.' This was stated to journalists by Assistant to the President for Public and Political Issues Ali Hasanov.
'I note that with these fake information anti-Azerbaijani centres and networks want to turn our state and those who maintain friendly relations with our country into objects of criticism. It is no coincidence that the material of the OCCRP, which was not confirmed by facts, under the name 'Azerbaijani Laundromat' was rapidly replicated in the world media. This question began to interest the official authorities of various countries. An investigation was launched against a former PACE member, Luca Volonté, who allegedly received 2 million 640 thousand dollars from Azerbaijan.
Let me remind you that at that time we spread information saying that this material was biased, groundless, provocative, and that it was part of the anti-Azerbaijani campaign unleashed by well-known circles. Apparently, the Milan court gave it an objective assessment,' he said.
Ali Hasanov noted that the Azerbaijani government has been informed about the organisers and executors of such anti-Azerbaijani campaigns, whose purpose is to damage the image of the state and those who support it, and also that the government does not intend to limit itself only to the decision of the Milan court.
'We intend to apply the relevant legal procedures against those who are involved in this. Appropriate government agencies of Azerbaijan have already been given instructions. We believe that those who, under the guise of democracy and freedom of speech, organise against different states, structures, persons international campaigns should be held accountable for their actions,' he said.
It should be noted that Luca Volonté was accused of having allegedly received a bribe from some representatives of Azerbaijan in the amount of 2.39 million euros. Italian investigators tried to link this with his activities in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The name of a member of the Azerbaijani Parliament, Elkhan Suleymanov also featured in this loud scandal, baptised by Western journalists 'caviar diplomacy.'