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Former Azerbaijani Minister Sentenced To 11 Years

Ali Insanov in court in February (Turan) BAKU, April 20, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- A court in Baku has sentenced former Azerbaijani Health Minister Ali Insanov to 11 years in prison, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reported.

The court convicted Insanov of bribery, forgery, and embezzlement of more than $30 million worth of state funds. The court also ruled that Insanov's property, worth an estimated $17 million, be confiscated.

Insanov says the case is politically motivated. He called the verdict a "victory of a rotten policy" and said he feared for his life.

Police arrested Insanov just weeks before Azerbaijan's November 2005 parliamentary elections. Insanov and 11 other were accused of backing exiled opposition leader Rasul Guliyev and seeking to overthrow President Ilham Aliyev.

Insanov faces a separate trial on the alleged coup plot.

Insanov was a political ally of former Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev -- the current president's father -- who died in 2003.

(with material from Reuters)

Human Rights In Azerbaijan

Human Rights In Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani parliamentarian and historian Jamil Hasanli speaking at RFE/RL on November 29 (RFE/RL)

THE CURSE OF OIL. On November 29, RFE/RL's Washington office hosted a briefing on democratic development in Azerbaijan. The briefing featured liberal opposition lawmaker Jamil Hasanli and former political prisoner and activist Murad Sadaddinov. The two men discussed the international commitments Azerbaijan has made in the area of human rights in order to secure investment in its energy sector and offer advice as to how the international community should deal with Baku.


Listen to the entire briefing (about 90 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media


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RFE/RL's English-language coverage of Azerbaijan.


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