Woman who spent $21M at Harrods fights UK wealth order

A bus passes in front of Harrods department store in Knightsbridge, central London. (Reuters)
Updated 10 October 2018
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Woman who spent $21M at Harrods fights UK wealth order

LONDON: A woman from Azerbaijan who spent 16 million pounds ($21 million) at luxury London department store Harrods over the course of a decade has become the first target of a British power to seize money from people suspected of getting their wealth through corruption.
A court has ordered Zamira Hajjiyeva to explain where she got the money to also buy an 11.5 million pound ($15 million) London home close to Harrods and a golf course outside the city.
Hajjiyeva’s husband, former International Bank of Azerbaijan chairman Jahangir Hajjiyev, was sentenced to 15 years in jail in his home country in 2016 for fraud and embezzlement.
The case marks Britain’s first use of Unexplained Wealth Orders, introduced this year in a bid to curb London’s status as a haven for ill-gotten gains. The orders allow authorities to seize assets over 50,000 pounds ($66,000) from people suspected of corruption or links to organized crime until the owners account for how they were acquired.
Hajjiyeva denies wrongdoing and is fighting to overturn the order and hang onto her properties.
During previous court hearings she was identified only as Mrs. A, but a court order granting her anonymity was lifted Wednesday.
Hajjileva’s lawyers said in a statement that the issuing of a wealth order “does not and should not be taken to imply any wrong-doing, whether on her part or that of her husband.”
They said the order “is part of an investigative process, not a criminal procedure, and it does not involve the finding of any criminal offense.”


Germany honors resisters who tried to assassinate Hitler

Updated 12 min 42 sec ago
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Germany honors resisters who tried to assassinate Hitler

  • Angela Merkel paid tribute to executed plot leader Col. Claus von Stauffenberg
  • He attempted to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb in 1944

BERLIN: Germany is marking the 75th anniversary of the most famous plot to kill Adolf Hitler, honoring those who resisted the Nazis — who were stigmatized for decades as traitors — as pillars of the country’s modern democracy amid growing concerns about the resurgence of the far-right.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will speak Saturday at an annual swearing-in ceremony for some 400 troops before addressing a memorial event, paid tribute ahead of the anniversary to executed plot leader Col. Claus von Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators and highlighted their importance to modern Germany. She said that “only if we understand our past can we build a good future.”
Von Stauffenberg tried to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb on July 20, 1944, during a meeting at his headquarters in East Prussia.