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MALTA COVERING UP AZERBAIJANI BRIBERY

The Azeri Times

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A former policeman in Malta claims that he was fired from his job for investigating large payments made by powerful Azerbaijanis to prominent Maltese politicians.

Speaking to Tom Kingston of the Times of London, former investigator Jonathan Ferris says that he uncovered millions of euros in bribes funneled from Azerbaijan to Malta in return for kickbacks on gas deals. According to Ferris, this investigation of high-level corruption led to his termination from the financial crimes unit of the Maltese police.

“I will fight to get this information out, which is really damaging for the state and for the politicians and other government officials involved,” said Ferris, who is currently suing Malta’s financial intelligence analysis unit for unfair dismissal. Prevented by secrecy laws from naming names, the Times says that Ferris plans to release documents in court which will allegedly prove his claims. Meanwhile, Malta’s attorney general is fighting to hold the legal proceedings behind closed doors.

Ferris claims that the payments from Azerbaijan to Malta were facilitated by Pilatus Bank and other financial institutions, but Pilatus declined to respond to the Times’s repeated requests for comment.

The former policeman’s accusations would seem to support the conclusions of murdered investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Caruana Galizia, who died in a car bomb explosion on 16 October, alleged that Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s wife had received about $1 million from Leyla Aliyeva, the daughter of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. Muscat denies the allegations.

Caruana Galizia also accused Keith Schembri, the prime minister’s chief of staff, and energy minister Konrad Mizzi, of accepting illicit money from Azerbaijan. Schembri and Mizzi both deny the allegations.

Prime Minister Muscat’s spokesman called accusations that Caruana Galizia’s death was political “total madness.” Muscat himself has stated that, although the journalist was “a harsh critic of [his] both politically and personally,” her murder was unjustifiable.

Police have yet to solve the case, but some have linked Caruana Galizia’s murder to alleged Maltese fuel smuggler Darren Debono, who was arrested by Sicilian police the week Caruana Galizia was killed. Before her death, the journalist claimed that Debono had threatened her by email. A former football star, Debono is currently under house arrest in Sicily.

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Economics

Premium Gas prices hit two-year high in Azerbaijan

The Azeri Times

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In Azerbaijan, on the evening of August 19, petrol Premium Euro-95 and Super Euro-98 became more expensive. At petrol stations of the country on Sunday evening, petrol Premium Euro-95 was sold at 1.50 manat, and Super Euro-98 – at 1.60 manat.

Prior to the increase, the price of these brands was 1.25 and 1.5 manat, respectively.

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Azerbaijan

New Mercedes Police Cars for Azerbaijani Police

The Azeri Times

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Dozens of new Mercedes C-class cars have been purchased for the traffic police of Azerbaijan.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class will possibly replace BMW 3 series Police vehicles.  These cars were first brought to Baku in November last year and were tested by police. It turns out that after the tests, the State Traffic Police decided to buy a large number of these cars.

The news already had a public outcry. Many Baku citizens complain that this is a clear sign of Corruption in the Government. They also complain that Police will possibly pay for these cars via increased traffic tickets and bribery through traffic police.

 

 

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Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan population comes close to 10 million

The Azeri Times

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Azerbaijan’s population reached 9,936,134 as of July 1, according to the State Statistical Committee, Azerbaijan State News Agency informs.

Official figures show that the number of the country’s population grew by 38,049 people since the beginning of the year.

The population density is 115 people per square kilometre, the committee said.

According to official figures, 52.9 per cent of the population lives in cities and towns, while 47.1 per cent in villages. 49.9 per cent of the population are men, and 50.1 per cent are women, according to the committee.

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