How a secret army of Azerbaijani interns infiltrated Germany’s democracy – VICE

For years, interns from Azerbaijan have networked in the Bundestag, maintaining strange contacts with the regime of Ilham Aliyev and German politicians,  Robert Hofmann,  Boris Kartheuser and Felix Dachsel write in an article published by VICE.

“In the Bundestag, the German parliament, interns with ties to the regime of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev have been working in the center of power for years. They are employed by MPs, some of whom themselves maintain connections with the country in the South Caucasus,” the article reads.  

The system that underpins these connections is large and complex, with many players: a renowned Berlin university that receives hundreds of thousands of euros from Azerbaijan; members of almost all parties in the German parliament; and the embassies of two countries, the authors say.

They all help to ensure that interns with close ties to the Aliyev regime were employed in the heart of German democracy.

“This network of Azerbaijani interns is spread across several parliamentary groups. It helps Aliyev, who likes to appear in public dressed in camouflage and appointed his wife as his deputy by decree a few years ago, consolidate his influence abroad to the disadvantage of the opposition in Baku,” the article continues.

The authors say “interns in the Bundestag are given a pass that gives them access to most places: to the offices of members of parliament, committees, and meeting rooms.”

For the full report click here.

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