Criminal case launched against Ali Karimli and members of opposition Popular Front Party

Генпрокуратура и МВД Азербайджана

Ali Karimli, Chairman of the Popular Front Party, Ganimat Zahid, editor-in-chief of Azadliq newspaper, Saleh Rustamov, former head of the Gadabay District, and a number of PFPA activists and Baku residents have been accused of money laundering.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Office of the Prosecutor General released a joint statement saying they have evidence that Karimli, Zahid, Rustamov and other recently detained PFPA activists have laundered money and conducted illegal business. Rustamov, a Russian citizen, got arrested for drug trafficking during a recent visit to Azerbaijan. He supposedly carried out propaganda campaigns in Russia and raised money from Azerbaijanis doing business there to support PFPA activities.

Rustamov is accused of having illegally transferred 30,000 USD to Baku during the last two years. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Office of the Prosecutor General stated that laundered money in the amount of 412,000 USD has been spent on PFPA events and activities.

PFPA activists Agil Magerramov, Rusland Nasirli and Babek Gasanov have confessed to receiving money from Rustamov and passing it on to Ali Kerimli and others. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Office of the Prosecutor stated that comprising evidence such as bank cards and documents confirming illegal money circulation has been found in their apartments.

All three of them were arrested on 25 May 2018, a few days ahead of a rally on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.