Corruption inquiry at Council of Europe over Azerbaijan

Europe’s top human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, has launched an investigation into alleged corruption at the council involving Azerbaijan, the BBC reports.

The criticisms concern some members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), accused of doing favours for Azerbaijan.

The oil-rich ex-Soviet state has cracked down on political dissidents.

There are suspicions that Azerbaijan influenced PACE’s rejection of a report on Azeri political prisoners in 2013.

Azerbaijan is among the 47 member nations of the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe.

Three top international human rights lawyers will investigate the PACE corruption allegations and will report their findings by the end of 2017. They can recommend action against any PACE members implicated in corruption.

As part of the inquiry, PACE plans to revise its code of conduct.

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