For the judges, the UDC exponent received half a million euros from two Azerbaijani politicians, to whom the same penalty was imposed, to guide the vote and obtain the rejection of a report on political prisoners in the Caucasian republic, to the advantage of the Azerbaijani government A bribe from Azerbaijan to reject a report on Baku’s treatment of political prisoners. With this charge, the Milan court sentenced Luca Giuseppe Volontè, a former UDC deputy and member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, to four years in prison.
The crime charged to Volontè is corruption. For the judges he would have abused his function, receiving half a million euros from two Azerbaijani politicians, who were given the same penalty, to guide the vote and obtain the rejection of a report on political prisoners in the Caucasian republic, for the benefit of the Azerbaijani government. The bribe contested by the prosecutors was about 2.4 million euros, but the judges acquitted the three for a substantial sum of the cue of over 1.8 million. “I am sure of my innocence. Now with the lawyers we will read the reasons for the sentence. In any case, I continue to trust in justice and, as has emerged in these two years of debate, I am convinced that my reasons can be fully satisfied on appeal ”, says the politician. The investigations were initiated starting from a suspicious transaction report by an Italian bank concerning some transfers received by Volontè, representative of the Italian Parliament at the Council of Europe assembly from September 2008 to June 2013, from British companies through Danske Bank in Estonia and Baltikums Bank in Riga in Latvia.
From the investigations ordered by the Milan Public Prosecutor’s Office, for international letters rogatory, the scandal then broke out on the alleged laundering of 200 billion euros from Russia and precisely Azerbaijan, which passed between 2007 and 2015 from the Estonian branch of the main credit institution Danish. A very small share, equal to just under 2.4 million euros – according to the thesis of the public prosecutors Scudieri-Ramondini – would have been promised and sent to Volontè by the member of the Azeri Parliament Elkhan Siraj Suleymanov and by the collaborator Muslum Mammadov, today condemned to 4 years, in exchange for “enslaving his public function to private interests and the Azerbaijan Government”, including an activity towards the other components of the Peace to “orient the votes” of the same parliamentary assembly “in the opposite direction the approval of the Straesser report on the conditions of political prisoners “in the country of the former USSR. The trial process of the affair, which began on 18 June 2016 with the request for indictment for Volontè and the two Azerbaijani officials, had a tortuous path with two preliminary hearings, as many appeals to the Supreme Court and two separate hearings. The former member of the UDC was in fact acquitted in the first instance of the charge of money laundering, on which the appeal has already opened.