LONDON — A British court has ruled that a woman suspected by British authorities of having ill-gotten wealth will not be extradited to Azerbaijan to face fraud and embezzlement charges.
Judge Emma Arbuthnot at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London ruled that Zamira Hajiyeva would not get a fair trial if she returned. Lawyers for the Azerbaijani government suggested they would appeal.
Hajiyeva is the first person subject to an Unexplained Wealth Order, which allows British authorities to seize assets from people suspected of corruption or links to organized crime until the owners account for how they were acquired.
Britain’s National Crime Agency wants to know where Hajiyeva, whose banker husband is in jail in Azerbaijan, got the money to buy two U.K. properties worth 22 million pounds ($28 million).
Hajiyeva, 55, who denies wrongdoing, once spent 600,000 pounds ($760,000) in just one day at the posh department store Harrods.
The Associated Press