Council of Europe launches Italian-Azerbaijani-Baltic bribery probe

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The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) announced April 25 it was finally going to investigate allegations that huge bribes to its members were paid via banks in Latvia and Estonia.

President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Pedro Agramunt was submitted an appeal signed by the speakers of the parliaments of the Nordic Countries and the Baltic States, which requested carrying out an external inquiry into the allegations of corruption against PACE members. In response to that, it was decided in Strasbourg to form a three-member independent external investigation body to start an inquiry.

President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Eiki Nestor said that it was the wish of seven countries that an impartial inquiry would be conducted to identify the possible circumstances of corruption. “All our attempts so far have been fruitless, but now investigation has been started, and hopefully everything will be clear soon,” Nestor said.

The appeal was signed by seven NB8 countries, or the speakers of the parliaments of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania according to a release from the Riigikogu.

Presently a trial is going on in Milan, Italy, against former PACE member Luca Volonté, who is accused of receiving money from Azerbaijan and in return influencing the PACE policy in the direction suitable for that country.

As previously reported by LSM, evidence uncovered by Italian media suggests money was funneled via Danske Bank in Estonia and Baltikums Bank in Latvia using a network of fake companies and featuring names familiar from various other scams perpetrated with connections to Latvia.

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