Azerbaijan hands former minister 10 year jail term

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BAKU, Oct 31 (Reuters) A court in Azerbaijan today sentenced former economic development minister, Farhad Aliyev, to 10 years in prison for embezzling state cash, allegations he has always dismissed as politically motivated lies.

Aliyev's brother Rafiq, who once headed state oil company Azpetrol, was also handed a nine year jail sentence for the same offences.

Police arrested the two brothers in October 2005 for attempting to overthrow the government of Azerbaijan, a former Soviet state on the Caspian Sea which is growing rich from oil wealth.

Aliyev is no relation of the president, Ilham Aliyev.

REUTERS AM BD2217

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