Yesterday, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Pedro Agramunt was submitted an appeal signed by the speakers of the parliaments of the Nordic Countries and the Baltic States, which requested carrying out an external inquiry into the allegations of corruption against PACE members. In response to that, it was decided in Strasbourg to form a three-member independent external investigation body to start an inquiry.
President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Eiki Nestor said that it was the wish of seven countries that an impartial inquiry would be conducted to identify the possible circumstances of corruption. “All our attempts so far have been fruitless, but now investigation has been started, and hopefully everything will be clear soon,” Nestor said.
The appeal was signed by seven NB8 countries, or the speakers of the parliaments of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
In the opinion of Head of the Estonian delegation to PACE Marianne Mikko, at least one of the members of the investigation body should be a respected politician who is acknowledged in Europe. “Immediately after the letter of the speakers of NB8 parliaments on starting an investigation into the corruption allegations was forwarded to the President of the PACE, it was carried out. I am very happy PACE managed to be decisive in this issue and to give a signal that corruption is not tolerated,” Mikko said, and added that corruption had no place in a human rights organisation.
Presently a trial is going on in Milan, Italy, against former PACE member Luca Volonté, who is accused of receiving money from Azerbaijan and in return influencing the PACE policy in the direction suitable for that country.
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