Rakhat Aliyev may be charged with the murder of bankers, PGO

May 18. Interfax-Kazakhstan

Rakhat Aliyev may be charged with the murder of bankers, PGOKazakh Prosecutor General’s Office may indict Rakhat Aliyev for a murder of Nur Bank top manager, if his involvement in the killing of Zholdas Timraliyev and Aybar Khassenov is confirmed, said Deputy Attorney General Johan Merkel.

“The investigation was launched upon the discovery of the bodies. During the Aliyve’s trial those charges were not among those brought against him. He was charged with abduction, but not with the murder,” he told journalists in Astana on Wednesday.

“After we sort everything out and if his involvement is confirmed, Aliyev would face the murder charges,” said Merkel.

Speaking about a possibility of Alieyv’s extradition to Kazakhstan, Merkel said that the “issue is very complicated.”

“Europe applies 4 conventions in the field of criminal proceedings, and we have not ratified either of them. To join the conventions, we must obtain consent of all parties forming the European Union, but we don’t have such consent yet,” said Merkel.

“We have been working for more than 7 years to join the conventions, but to no avail. The only way we can cooperate with Europe on such issues is on the so-called reciprocity terms, which means that we hand over criminals to them and they do the same for us,” Merkel said.

Rakhat Aliyev, a former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and ambassador of Kazakhstan to Austria before 2007, was sentenced to a total of 40 years in prison by the Kazakh court in 2008 for having committed a number of serious crimes, including high treason, masterminding a coup, abduction of the top managers of Nurbank, Zholdas Timraliyev and Aibar Khasenov, whose dead bodies were only found on May 13 this year.

The court passed the sentence in absentia because Rakhat Aliyev has been hiding in Austria since 2007. The Austrian side refused last year to extradite Rakhat Aliyev to Kazakhstan.

Zholdas Timraliyev and Aibar Khasenov were abducted from the head office of Nurbank in Almaty on January 31, 2007 by Rakhat Aliyev’s group. At that time Rakhat Aliyev was the owner of the bank.