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Architect Mario Palmonella received €21,013 ($28,217.68) in his Romanian account from Hilux in August 2014. Cinzia Palmonella also received €36,500 ($45,526) from Hilux in December 2014 for services. Between them, they received about €57,500 ($74,000).
Mario Palmonella is an Italian architect who, along with a group of Romanian architects, designed the 7 Hills residential project in Baku commissioned by the International Bank of Azerbaijan.
He co-signed an open letter that began: “We are all Azerbaijanis!!! This is the call expressed in an open letter of the Italian community in Baku. In the letter the Italians living in Azerbaijan express their indignation at the smear campaign against Azerbaijan in the Western mass-media.”
He told OCCRP that he was aware of the country’s human rights problems but felt that the letter was the cost of doing business in Azerbaijan.