German parliamentarians suspected of receiving money from Azerbaijan

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Baku / 01.31.20 / Turan: On January 30 the Bundestag stripped parliamentary immunity of Karin Strenz, a deputy from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Last year, the parliament fined Strentz 20 thousand euros. She is accused of taking a bribe of at least 22 thousand euros to lobby for the interests of Azerbaijan in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), DW reports.

On Thursday, in connection with an investigation into Strenz, about 100 prosecutors, the Federal Criminal Office and the Belgian police raided 16 sites: the deputy’s office in the Bundestag, her personal apartment in Berlin, as well as in residential premises, offices and law firms in Berlin, the federal states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Bavaria, as well as in Belgium.

Together with her in the case is the ex-deputy of the Bundestag from the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), the former parliamentary state secretary to the Minister of the Interior, Eduard Lintner.

According to the prosecutor’s office, from 2008 to 2016 Lintner received about 4 million euros from Azerbaijan through British shell companies that had accounts in banks in the Baltic countries. He redirected a significant part of this money, minus his remuneration, to individual PACE members who were supposed to speak positively about the elections in Azerbaijan and oppose the demands for the release of political prisoners in this country.

In this case, there is also a third suspect, on the bribery and lobbying of the interests of Azerbaijan, whose name the investigation has not yet disclosed. He is accused of creating a shell company and opening bank accounts through his law office to transfer money from Azerbaijan to bribe PACE members, DW reports.

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