Eldar Hasanov, Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia Herzegovina, was arrested on Thursday in Baku on charges of embezzlement.
Azerbaijan’s State Security Service, in an announcement said that a”financial inspection revealed valid suspicions of inappropriate use of significant budgetary funds and other violations of the law by Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina Eldar Hasanov.”
“In the course of the investigation, Eldar Hasanov was detained as a suspect,” added the statement, which said that an investigation was ongoing.
Hasanov’s arrest comes less than a month after Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, after publicly attacking his foreign minister Elmar Mammadyarov, fired him on July 16, four days after Azerbaijani forces launched a brazen attack on civilian and military targets in Armenia’s Tavush Province. Mammadyarov was replaced by Ceyhun Bayramov.
The Turan news agency reported last month that Azerbaijan’s National Security Service raided the foreign ministry and arrested top officials on charges of embezzlement as part of a larger “corruption” investigation.
In a video meeting with the Bayramaov after his appointment, Aliyev blamed a number of diplomats of state betrayal.
“Some diplomats have betrayed the state, they have betrayed it and are not hiding it. They are under the control of the special services of those countries [in which they are stationed],” Aliyev said last month.
Hasanov served as Azerbaijan’s Prosecutor General from 1995 to 2000.