Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Woman who spent $21 mln at Harrods faces extradition hearing

Woman who spent $21 mln at Harrods faces extradition hearing

Britain's National Crime Agency wants to know where Hajiyeva got the money to fund her Harrods shopping sprees and buy two United Kingdom properties worth 22 million pounds ($29 million).

A woman who spent £16m at Harrods and is subject to the UK's first Unexplained Wealth Order will be freed on bail following her arrest last week.

Ms Hajiyeva's husband was sentenced to 15 years in an Azerbaijan jail in 2016, after he was convicted for embezzlement having defrauded the bank of up to $3.9 billion.

She was granted bail last Tuesday but prosecutors lodged an appeal, arguing that she posed a flight risk. Harrods department Store in Knightsbridge where Hajiyeva is said to have spent more than £16 million over a decade.

Police first went after Mrs Hajiyeva in February but her lawyers had claimed that her husband was the victim of an unfair trial. The orders allow authorities to seize assets from people suspected of corruption or links to organised crime until the owners account for how they were acquired. However, the crown prosecution, acting on behalf of the Azeri government, appealed, pushing the bail decision to the High Court, which will make a decision November 8.

Senior district judge Emma Arbuthnot agreed that Mrs Hajiyeva could be released on bail - if she pays £500,000 as a guarantee, stays at her home in Knightsbridge, does not travel outside the M25 and reports to police every day.

Imelda Marcos arrest warrant issued after failing to appear in court
Marcos can also raise the decision to the Supreme Court if she finds grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Sandiganbayan. The court's decision is not final and both the prosecution and Marcos' camp can still file a motion for reconsideration.

She is now in an isolation cell and her extradition to Azerbaijan is under consideration.

Ms Hajiyeva also bought an $20.7 million five-bedroom home which, according to UK's The Guardian, was roughly 90 metres from the Harrods doors.

Police also seized jewellery worth more than £400,000 last week while it was being valued by the worldwide auction house Christie's.

Ms Hajiyeva's legal team sought to overturn the Unexplained Wealth Order so she could retain ownership of her properties.

They said the UWO was part of an investigative process, not a criminal procedure, and did not involve the finding of any criminal offence, and they said an application to appeal against the judge's order had been filed.

Like this: