France wants till spring 2014 to decide on Ablyazov’s extradition
Aug 02. Tengrinews
French court is not planing to decide on the possible extradition of Mukhtar Ablyazov any earlier than in spring 2014, Le Figaro writes.
“We will study the request of Ukraine that has 40 days to provide all the documents. As the process is quite lengthy, he should not be extradited before spring 2014,” said Solange Legras, Attorney General of Aix-en-Provence Court.
Meanwhile, Ukraine has alreadysent France the documents for extradition of the former head of BTA Bank Mukhtar Ablyazov who is wanted for fraud, RIA Novosti writes citing the press-service of Kiev police.
“The investigation department of Ukrainian Interior Ministry in Kiev has sent the documents to the competent authorities of France requesting extradition of Ablyazov for prosecution in Ukraine,” the police said.
The exile banker is on Ukrainian wanted list for embezzlement of the bank’s funds and fraud, Interfax-Kazakhstan reports.
According to the press-service of Kiev police, Russia and Kazakhstan also put him on the wanted list several years ago. “The investigation department has the materials of the pretrial investigation filed in the common registrar of pretrial investigations in relation to claims of BTA Bank filed over embezzlement of the loaned funds and securities (registered common stock),” the police said.
The investigation is held on charges of acquisition and embezzlement of property or obtaining it in abuse of official position and major fraud or fraud by organized group.
According to Kiev police, Ablyazov was put on the wanted list in December 2010. “He was detained in France on July 31, 2013 based on the fact that he was wanted by the law-enforcement authorities of Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan,” the press-service stated.
Mukhtar Ablyazov was arrested on July 31 not far from Cannes. He was apprehended on an extradition request of Ukraine.
The Aix-en-Provence court decided to leave Mukhtar Ablyazov in custody until the decision on his extradition is made. The extradition is awaited by Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine as Ablyazov is wanted in all of these countries for major fraud. Kazakhstan has no extradition agreement with France, and Russia is getting ready to file its extradition request, but face limitations. This leaves Ukraine the most likely candidate to obtain extradition of Ablyazov from France.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International has called the authorities in France to make sure that Mukhtar Ablyazov gets a fair extradition process and that he is not sent to any country that may return him to Kazakhstan.
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More details of Ablyazov’s arrest and future plans
Aug 02. Tengrinews
The police operation to arrest the ex-chairman of BTA Bank Mukhtar Ablyazov involved 3 investigators and 12 officers of French elite police and a helicopter, RIA Novosti writes.
According to the police sources, Ablyazov, his sister, niece and servants were constantly moving from one house to another. Lately he has been renting the Zenith villa with 6 bedrooms and a huge park. The arrest went smoothly with no incidents. The banker did not resist the arrest, but tried to mislead the police, insisting that there was a mistake and his name was not Mukhtar Ablyazov. “He did not want to admit that it was him and insisted there was a mistake. However, there were no doubts thanks to the available photographs,” the police officer said.
Solange Legras, chief state prosecutor for international cases at Aix-en-Provence Appeals Court, held a hearing on Ablyazov’s case on Thursday, The Marietta Times writes. She told The Associated Press that special police forces, entered the rented villa in Mouans Sartoux to arrest Ablyazov.
Legras said that police used “powerful means” because Ablyazov was reported to have a “private militia”. No shots were made and no physical damage was caused during the operation.
Ablyazov was arrested “in shorts and a T-shirt”. He had a diplomatic passport issued by Central African Republic. It was “probably false,” Legras said. Police did not search the site as they were only had an arrest warrant, not a search warrant.
During the hearing that involved three lawyers Ablyazov insisted that he was granted a political asylum in Great Britain. But Legras said that her role was only to explain the possible extradition process and not to get involved in the case. After the hearing Ablyazov was transferred to a detention facility in the town of Luynes.
The defense of the exile banker is planning to achieve his release before the extradition ruling is made. Ablyazov’s lawyer Bruno Rebstock said that Ablyazov was interviewed by French prosecutors on Thursday and they officially notified him that he is an object of Ukrainian extradition request. He was then returned to the jail near Aix-en-Provence. “He is very determined and ready for the battle,” the lawyer said.
Ablyazov’s lawyer as determined to get their client out of jail. They insist that house-arrest with an electronic tracking bracelet could be an alternative for the jailing.
Rebstock said that he was planning to file a request on Ablyazov’s release in the nearest time. The defense has to submit a lease agreement for Ablyazov’s proposed residence to the court. After that the judged will consider granting the house-arrest, possibly with additional financial security, within 10 days.
According to the lawyer, France is expecting Ukraine to submit the documents for the extradition is late August or early September.
Mukhtar Ablyazov was arrested on July 31 not far from Cannes . He was apprehended under extradition request of Ukraine.
The Aix-en-Provence court decided to leave Mukhtar Ablyazov in custody until the decision on his extradition is made. The extradition is awaited by Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine as Ablyazov is wanted in all of these countries for major fraud. Kazakhstan has no extradition agreement with France, Russia is preparing its extradition request, but can face limitations. This leave Ukraine as the most likely destination of Ablyazov’s extradition.
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French court leaves Ablyazov under arrest pending extradition decision
Aug 01. Tengrinews
French court has decided to leave Mukhtar Ablyazov in custody until the decision on his extradition is made, Capital.fr writes. This went against best hopes: according to Ablyazov’s lawyer, his client opposes the extradition to either Ukraine or Kazakhstan.
“He has been remanded in custody,” Ablyazov’s lawyer Bruno Rebstock said after the hearing in Aix-en-Provence. The judges ruled that Mukhtar Ablyazov could not provide enough guarantees to be released on bail pending the decision on his extradition. A judge in the Aix-en-Provence court interviewed Mukhtar Ablyazov Thursday morning. The judge notified him that he was the object of an extradition request from Ukraine.
Ukraine now has 40 days to provide all the required documents to substantiate his extradition from France.
Ablyazov’s French lawyer explained why the extradition request came from Ukraine: “Ukraine is a friendly country, while Kazakhstan came under a lot of pressure over expulsion of his (Ablyazov’s) wife for possession of fake passport,” Charles Bavier told Reuters.
Another source close to the case said that Ukraine was chosen because the BTA bank had important interests (it is suing Ablyazov in London court for embezzlement of over $6 billion from the bank). There is no extradition treaty between France and Kazakhstan, interference of Russia would be subject to limitations, so this leaves Ukraine as the best choice.
According to Charles Blavier, Ablyazov was arrested “by a score of policemen who did not hesitate to break into his house, masked and armed.” Almost two months before that Ablyazov’s wife blamed Italian police for mistreatment accusing them of allegedly calling her a “bitch”. Ablyazov continued the blaming of European nations for his misfortunes by saying that his life had been in danger since he left Kazakhstan and his security was not guaranteed if held in a British prison.
Mukhtar Ablyazov was arrested not far from Cannes. An official representative of the Regional Service of France’s judicial police in Marseille also confirmed that the exile Kazakhstan tycoon was arrested. According to him, Ablyazov was arrested on July 31 in Mouans-Sartoux not far from Grasse.
The official said that French authorities received the extradition request from Ukraine. He added that the Kazakh ex-banker would most likely be transferred to Paris where the court will decide on his extradition.
Ablyazov is wanted in Kazakhstan for embezzlement, fraud, money laundering and siphoning off BTA bank’s funds through dummy companies and illegal financial schemes. BTA bank is pursuing Mr Ablyazov in London’s court for misappropriation of at least $6bn from the bank. FT called this case “one of the biggest and most complex fraud cases in banking history”.
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BTA Bank helped apprehend Ablyazov
Aug 02. Tengrinews
Former head of BTA Bank Mukhtar Ablyazov was found thanks to BTA bank’s efforts and was arrested after the information about his whereabouts was transferred to the French authorities, RIA Novosti writes.
“The arrest became possible thanks to the efforts of BTA to return the assets embezzled by Ablyazov from the bank. After Ablyazov fled Great Britain in violation of the London High Court’s ruling, BTA was working to located his whereabouts and discovered him in the south of France some time ago. The bank transferred the collected information to the French authorities who acted based on the Interpol arrest warrant issued upon Ukraine’s request and apprehended Ablyazov,” a source close to the case said.
The source close to the investigation said that Ablyazov was tracked down through a former wife of his Ukrainian business partner Yelena Tischenko. Last week she attended a hearing on one of the cases related to Ablyazov and then visited a villa in France. This villa was where the exile banker was arrested later.
The Bank’s management believes that Ablyazov should remain under arrest so that the embezzled assets are not dispersed and the ex-banker does not flee again. The judges who decided yesterday on whether to leave Ablyazov in custody of let him walk on bail until the extradition hearings also shared the opinion that Ablyazov was likely to go on the run at first opportunity. They decided to leave him jailed as he could not provide sufficient guarantees that he sould not fee again.
Managing Director of BTA Bank Pavel Prosyakin stated: “The Bank hails apprehension of Ablyazov. This became possible thanks to the bank’s efforts to return billions of dollars embezzled by Ablyazov with the help of the British justice. We wanted him to be arrested to prevent further disperse of the assets that the British court has ruled to be returned to the owners. He is currently under arrest and we are optimistic about returning the assets subject to the court’s ruling.”
Besides, BTA Bank intends to continue fighting in courts to get compensations of damages for those who caused the losses and took part in hiding the embezzled assets.
Mukhtar Ablyazov was arrested not far from Cannes. An official representative of the Regional Service of France’s judicial police in Marseille confirmed that the exile Kazakhstan tycoon was arrested. According to him, Ablyazov was arrested on July 31 in Mouans-Sartoux not far from Grasse. The police operation involved 3 investigators, 12 police officers and a helicopter.
The Aix-en-Provence court decided to leave Mukhtar Ablyazov in custody until the decision on his extradition is made. The extradition is awaited by Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine as Ablyazov is wanted in all of these countries for major fraud. Kazakhstan has no extradition agreement with France and extradition to Russia would face limitations. That’s why Ablyazov will most likely to extradited to Ukraine.
The defense of the exile banker is planning to achieve his release before the extradition ruling is made. Ukraine now has 40 days to submit documents substantiating the extradition claims to the French authorities.