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Former German MPs Charged with Corruption in Azerbaijan Lobbying in PACE

Former German MPs Charged with Corruption in Azerbaijan Lobbying in PACE

Two former German Members of Parliament (MP), Axel Fischer and Eduard Lintner, have been charged by the Munich prosecutor's office with corruption and bribery related to lobbying for the interests of Azerbaijan in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

The investigation alleges that Fischer and Lintner received funds in exchange for advocating on behalf of Azerbaijan within PACE. Lintner, who was a member of the German-Azerbaijani Forum lobbying for Baku's interests in the Bundestag, faces accusations of receiving several million euros from Azerbaijan through intermediaries.

Lintner's involvement extended to the establishment of two companies, which entered into contracts with state-owned enterprises of Azerbaijan, involving monthly payments for undisclosed services. These funds are believed to have been used to influence German and Belgian politicians through bribery.

The late Bundestag deputy Karin Strentz is implicated in the corruption scandal as well. The investigation uncovered that Lintner allegedly paid Strentz 150 thousand euros, ensuring that decisions favorable to Baku were made by the Council of Europe in 2015 and 2016.

Fischer, too, faces charges for acting on behalf of Azerbaijan in the Council of Europe, following an agreement with a representative of the country. He provided positive assessments of Azerbaijan and reportedly handed over confidential documents to Baku, receiving 22,000 euros in return.

The European Stability Initiative discovered that Lintner organized a delegation to observe the presidential elections in Azerbaijan in 2013. Despite independent observers documenting numerous irregularities, the delegation praised the elections. Two weeks later, Lintner received 61,000 euros from Azerbaijan.

The comprehensive investigation, spanning over four years, involved searches at 20 locations, including the offices of Bundestag deputies.


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