Today, on May 3, at 9 o’clock local time, the trial of the former Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Luca Volonte, began at the Palace of Justice in Milan. He is accused of receiving large bribes from the Azerbaijani authorities in order to bribe other PACE deputies.
As it became known to Turan from informed sources, the former head of Azerbaijan”s representation in the EU, Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe Arif Mammadov takes part in the trial as an expert from the prosecution.
For security purposes, it is provided with enhanced protection from the Italian law enforcement agencies. In general, unprecedented security measures have been taken around the court and, in particular, Volonte himself.
The Italian deputy Luca Volonte is the person involved in the international “caviar diplomacy” scandal, according to the investigation of the international NGO European Stability Initiative. He is accused of receiving 2.3 million euros from Azerbaijan, which was spent on bribing a number of PACE deputies to fail the report on political prisoners in Azerbaijan in January 2013.
In 2016, the Milan Prosecutor”s Office launched an investigation against Volonte, bringing charges against him.