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Former Azerbaijani Economy Minister, Brother Pardoned

President Ilham Aliyev (left), pictured here with former Economy Minister Farhad Aliyev in 2005.
BAKU -- Former Azerbaijani Economy Minister Farhad Aliyev has been released from prison, along with his brother.

President Ilham Aliyev pardoned 152 inmates October 14 to mark the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, which began on October 15.

Brothers Farhad and Rafiq Aliyev were arrested in 2005 and later sentenced to 10 and nine years in jail, respectively, on corruption, fraud, embezzlement, and attempted coup charges. Both men have expressed their support for the Azerbaijani president.

In an interview with RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service just after his release, Farhad Aliyev praised the president and said he had always been loyal to him, even in jail.

Last week, Farhad Aliyev was shown voting for Aliyev in the October 9 presidential poll, which Aliyev won in a landslide.