Latvian adviser linked to European Parliament corruption scandal

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The Group of Socialists and Democrats of the European Parliament has suspended a political adviser of Latvian origin, Eldars Mamedovs, on suspicion of serious violations, reported the French newspaper "Le Point" on December 21.

Mamedovs has been working as an advisor to the group of Socialists and Democrats in the EP for well over a decade, mainly on issues affecting relations with Iran, Iraq and several countries in the Arab region. The Belgian police have been informed, the report said.

Le Point reports that the suspension of the advisor of Latvian origin took place within a so-called internal cleansing operation. According to the newspaper, Mamedovs had urged the social democrats to be more lenient towards Qatar. He is also said to have opposed the resolution in which Russia was named as a supporter of terrorism, and to have taken an ambiguous position regarding the Iranian regime which is supporting Russia's aggression by supplying military drones.

In an official statement, the Socialist Group in the European Parliament said it "fully supports the suspension of an S&D staff member following serious misconduct related to the ongoing judicial investigation. The Secretariat of the S&D Group immediately informed the competent Belgian authorities and continues to fully cooperate with all investigating authorities."

It did not mention Mamedovs by name and Uta Tutiliesa, head of the group's Communication Department, could not publicly confirm the name of the suspended employee to Latvian Radio. However, the S&D's information page about Mamedovs has been removed, despite still being visible in internet search engines.

A series of articles penned by Mamedovs remains available at the 'Responsible statecraft' website where 50-year-old Mamedovs' biography shows that he studied at the University of Latvia and at the School of Diplomacy in Madrid. At one time, he worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, and in Latvian embassies in the USA and Spain. 

In the 2000s, he was associated with the "Baltijas Forums" association of Jānis Urbanovičs, the leader of the Saskaņas party, which was widely seen as a pro-Russia forum.

In 2014, he ran in the European Parliament elections from the list of the "Saskaņa" (Harmony) party which is affiliated with the Socialists and Democrats, but was not elected. His father is a businessman of Azerbaijani origin, Adigyozal Mamedov.

Mamedovs Sr. was the owner of the companies "Rīgas sanitārā transporta busbaze" and "Ceļu parvāde"; his name has appeared in connection with several large-scale procurement tenders.

Belgian police have so far charged four people with corruption, including European Parliament (EP) Vice President Eva Kail. They are accused of operating in a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption, peddling influence on behalf of Qatar interests at the European level.

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