In a strongly-worded statement, Azerbaijani MP and PACE member Elkhan Suleymanov, the President of the Association for Civil Society Development in Azerbaijan (ACSDA), denounced "anti-Azerbaijani forces" that have acted in "ruthless and immoral ways, slandering and smearing us in order to damage the international image of Azerbaijan."
He referred to the decision on January 27, 2017 by the Council of Judges on Preliminary Investigations of Milan Prosecutor's Office, in which the Milan court "decided not to proceed against Luca Volonté regarding the accusation of corruption during the exercise of his function."
Suleymanov said he was surprised that despite the court ruling, certain Western politicians and media representatives continue to "repeat these low attacks" when they should be "obliged to respect the court's decision."
He added that, "Regretfully, the ones who groundlessly attack, slander and smear against Azerbaijan, are often regarded as hero-fighters. It became clear to all once again that this ruthless slander and smear campaign against my country was part of a broad international conspiracy, organized by foreign corporate forces to create unrest in order to destabilise Azerbaijan."
"I always ignore slander and gossip, as it is part of my life as a man with public vocation. However, I will continue to mobilise all my efforts to protect my country from biased, groundless attacks, as well as destabilising attempts by anti-Azerbaijani forces," Suleymanov said.