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Jailed Azerbaijani Official Commits Suicide

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (file photo) (epa) PRAGUE, August 24, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- A former Azerbaijani official arrested on charges of plotting a coup has killed himself while in custody.

Prosecutors said Alihuseyn Shaliyev, a former department head in the Ministry of Economic Development, slit his veins while in the prison's hospital, where he was recuperating from an operation earlier this week.

Vugar Aliyev, a spokesman for the Azerbaijani Prosecutor-General's Office, told RFE/RL that Shaliyev had left a letter addressed to his relatives in which he said "nobody is guilty of this death and that he apologizes for this act."

Shaliyev was one of a number of officials arrested ahead of last year's parliamentary elections on charges of planning to overthrow President Ilham Aliyev.

Pro-government parties won a landslide victory in the November election, which international observers said did not meet democratic standards.

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

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