Azerbaijani president pardons jailed govt critic

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Associated Press

Posted on October 15, 2013 at 2:36 AM

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Azerbaijan's president has pardoned a former economic development minister who was jailed for corruption.

International human rights activists have said that Farhad Aliyev, arrested in 2005 on suspicion of plotting a coup, was a political prisoner.

Aliyev's lawyer Elton Guliyev said Tuesday that Aliyev was pardoned Monday and is now home in the capital of Baku.

Aliyev was found guilty in 2007 of an array of crimes including bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power and sentenced to 10 years in prison. His brother, Rafig Aliyev, was sentenced to nine years for fraud.

Rights groups have accused President Ilham Aliyev of harassing government critics and sending them to prison on tramped-up charges.

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