A bus driver who hit three Austrian athletes on June 11 was arrested in Baku, local media reported. Veli Ahmedov is charged with violations of traffic rules and vehicle operations. The authorities launched a criminal case into the matter.
“As part of the investigation, we’re examining the issue of bringing to justice officials from Bakubus LLC, who are responsible for hiring qualified drivers and have not properly fulfilled their obligations,” the
said in a statement on June 13.
More than a dozen officers from Bakubus LLC and the Azerbaijani Ministry of Transportation have been arrested over the incident, with possible charges including a deliberate collision with participants in the European Games and ties with Islamist organizations.
Three Austrian synchronized swimmers were hit by a bus in the athletes’ village at the European Games in Baku on June 11. Vanessa Sahinovic, 15, suffered “severe injuries” and was put in an induced coma. Sahinovic underwent 10 hours of surgery in Vienna after being flown from Azerbaijan on a jet belonging to President Ilham Aliyev,
reported. Another athlete, Luna Pajer, broke an elbow while the third suffered only bruising and remained in Azerbaijan.
showed a shuttle bus plough into a group of athletes at a great speed in an uncongested area of the athletes’ village. The Azerbaijani government has removed the video from local news websites.
On June 12,
Meydan TV interviewed Orxan Akhmedov
, who claimed to be the son of the driver in the video. According to Akhmedov, his father was taken to the police station after the incident and is currently being questioned without a lawyer. He insists his father has been driving a bus for 20 years, has a valid license (not a given in Azerbaijan), and the accident is a result of the bus not being in working order.