Council of Europe must act on Azerbaijan reputational laundering, including sanctioning the corrupt

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Transparency International is calling for tough anti-corruption measures, including sanctions on corrupt members, to restore trust in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in the face of a series of corruption allegations and the resignation of its president.

Transparency International welcomes this week’s scheduled vote by PACE to pass a resolution to strengthen its anti-corruption rules. But it calls on the organisation to move swiftly on current allegations.

The Council of Europe’s mandate is to uphold and strengthen democracy and human rights across its 47 member states.

On 4 September, investigations by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and its partners revealed that current and former members of PACE allegedly received payments to launder the image of Azerbaijan abroad. On 6 October, the president of PACE, Pedro Agramunt resigned before facing a motion to remove him.

“The new president of PACE must act fast against wrongdoing. It dragged its feet in the past when this issue first surfaced in 2012. It must not make the same mistake again,” said Patricia Moreira, managing director of Transparency International. “Members and former members of the parliamentary assembly who are proven to have received questionable financial benefits from Azerbaijan should be investigated and eventually prosecuted by their national authorities.”

Politicians have been implicated in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Slovenia, while reports of reputational laundering touch Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Hungary, Russia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Rather than wait for the independent external body appointed by the Council of Europe to finish its investigation into the wrongdoing, authorities in these countries should launch their own probes into the reports of political corruption, in addition to cooperating fully and effectively with this Council of Europe investigation and other such future investigations.

The member states of the Council of Europe should ensure that investigators can access all the information and documents they need, and have the authority to conduct on-the-spot checks and inspections.

Transparency International also calls upon the Council of Europe to establish a permanent investigative office as an effective mechanism to uncover future reputational laundering and bribery.

The Council of Europe and its member states must also adopt procedures that allow it to expel member who flout integrity rules and take bribes.  


For any press enquiries please contact

Michael Hornsby
T: +49 30 34 38 20 666
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

La Justicia española debe investigar el lavado de imagen de Azerbaiyán en Europa

Tres políticos españoles —Pedro Agramunt, Agustín Conde Bajén y Jordi Xuclá— se encuentran entre los delegados ante la Asamblea Parlamentaria del Consejo de Europa (APCE) sobre los que pesan sospechas de haberse beneficiado con la maniobra del “Laundromat”.

International Anti-Corruption Day 2018: The power of people’s pressure

Across the world, Transparency International chapters work hard to help the public become involved and engaged in the fight against corruption.

Clean up Spain – Justice for Azerbaijan’s reputation laundering in Europe

In Azerbaijan, critical voices are routinely suppressed. Meanwhile in Europe, politicians suspected of helping whitewash Azerbaijan’s record on human rights enjoy impunity. Join our campaign to urge authorities in Spain to investigate.

Everything you need to know about the 18th International Anti-Corruption Conference (#18IACC)

The #18IACC will take place from 22-24 October in Copenhagen, Denmark under the theme Together for Development, Peace and Security: Now is the Time to Act. Get the latest info and updates here!

Risky business: Europe’s golden visa programmes

Are EU Member States accepting too much risk in their investor migration schemes?

Future Against Corruption Award 2018

TI is calling on young people across the globe to join the anti-corruption movement. People between the age of 18 and 35 are invited to submit a short video clip presenting their idea on new ways to fight corruption. Three finalists will be invited to Berlin during the International Anti-Corruption Day festivities to be awarded with the Future Against Corruption Award.

The Azerbaijani Laundromat one year on: has justice been served?

In September last year, a massive leak of bank records from 2012 to 2014 showed that the ruling elite of Azerbaijan ran a $3 billion slush fund and an international money laundering scheme. One year on, has enough been done to hold those involved to account?

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media