Azerbaijani freed over £16m shopping bill

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Woman who spent £16m in Harrods released on bail

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Image caption Zamira Hajiyeva faces two charges of embezzlement

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.

Zamira Hajiyeva, 55, is the wife of an ex-state banker who is serving a 15-year prison sentence for embezzlement in their home country of Azerbaijan.

Mrs Hajiyeva was arrested last week by the Metropolitan Police acting on a request from authorities in Azerbaijan. She faces two charges of embezzlement.

Her lawyers say she is no "fraudster".

Mrs Hajiyeva, who lives in a £15m house near to the London store, is wanted by the authorities in Azerbaijan for an alleged conspiracy to defraud the Azerbaijani national bank.

  • Woman who spent £16m in Harrods arrested

She was granted bail last Tuesday but prosecutors lodged an appeal, arguing that she posed a flight risk.

However at the High Court on Thursday, the judge, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker, granted bail, adding there were no "substantial grounds" to deny it.

Bail conditions

Mrs Hajiyeva's release on bail is subject to a £500,000 bond and arrangements for an electronic tagging device to be installed at her Knightsbridge home.

Under her bail conditions, she must stay at home between the hours of 21:00 GMT and 06:00 and report daily to Charing Cross police station.

She must also not visit any international transfer hub or apply for travel documents and must stay within the M25.

Mrs Hajiyeva is subject to two UWOs by the National Crime Agency – meaning she must explain the origin of her fortune.

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