She Lost a Golf Club and Police Seized $183,000 of Jewelry. Now a Banker's Wife Faces Extradition
(Bloomberg) -- After a turbulent few months where she lost control of a multi-million pound house and golf club and then had jewelry worth as much as 140,000 pounds ($183,000) seized by U.K. police, a wealthy banker’s wife now faces extradition to Azerbaijan.
Zamira Hajiyeva, who was arrested in the U.K. earlier this week, is being sought in connection with corruption allegations in Azerbaijan, where her husband Jahangir Hajiyev, the former head of International Bank of Azerbaijan, is serving a 15-year prison sentence.
A London judge at a hearing Thursday granted her release on 500,000 pounds bail and set multiple travel restrictions, including an overnight curfew during which she must remain at her home in the exclusive Knightsbridge area.
Hajiyeva, 55, has attracted attention because of the U.K. National Crime Agency’s attempts to take control of two properties she owns worth 22 million pounds as part of ground breaking unexplained wealth orders designed to tackle corruption. Last month, a court also lifted an anonymity order that had protected her identity amid the dispute.
A lawyer for Hajiyeva emphasized that his client hasn’t been convicted of a crime and criticized the “sensationalist” coverage of the wealth order proceedings.
“We are naturally relieved that common sense has prevailed and our client will finally be released on bail,” Thomas Garner said in a statement. “Our client remains confident that she will defeat this abusive and politically motivated extradition request in due course.”
In addition, police seized jewelry, including a Boucheron sapphire and ruby necklace and a Van Cleef & Arpels pearl necklace, while she sought to get the items appraised at auction house Christie’s.
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