An independent body investigating the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has concluded there was “strong suspicion” that some former and current members were engaged “in activity of a corruptive nature”, related to Azerbaijan.
The damning report comes after ten months of research looking into the conduct of members of the assembly, which consist of MPs from 47 European and Central Asian countries who are all members of the Council of Europe – an international organisation which pre-dates the EU and deals mostly with human rights, democracy and rule of law.
The investigation concluded that there was a lack of transparency in the assembly, and that there were conflicts of interests of some members and former members of PACE who dealt with Azerbaijan.
The report, published on Sunday evening (22 April), said that there was “strong suspicion” that the assembly’s former president, Pedro Agramunt, was “party to activity of a corruptive nature”.
Agramunt already had to leave his post last year, after a vote of no-confidence following a scandal involving his meeting of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
The report said that Agrumunt’s appointments to the position of president of the European People’s Party and then the position of assembly president “were marked with controversy and with suspicions that corrupt activities supported by Azerbaijan had played a role in the appointments”.