Kazakhstan Set on Extraditing Ex-Banker Ablyazov – Prosecutors
August 6. RIA Novosti. ASTANA
Kazakhstan will use all legal means to return fugitive banker and former minister Mukhtar Ablyazov to his home country, following his arrest in France last week, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Ablyazov is wanted in Russia and Ukraine as well as Kazakhstan, on suspicion of embezzling billions of dollars from the now-defunct BTA bank, money laundering and involvement in a criminal group. France is currently considering an extradition request for him from Ukraine.
“Kazakhstan’s Prosecutor General’s Office is doing everything possible to return Ablyazov to Kazakhstan. All possible means will be used,” Kazakhstan’s prosecutors office spokesman Nardaulet Suindikov said Tuesday. “France is to make the final decision. We are determined to get him back to Kazakhstan,” he added.
Kazakhstan has no extradition agreement with France. Suindikov said the Kazakhstan authorities have nonetheless submitted an extradition request for Ablyazov, but did not elaborate.
Kazakhstan may decide to seek his extradition from Ukraine. A lawyer retained by Ablyazov’s wife as spokesman told the Financial Times he had been told by Ablyazov’s lawyers in France that the extradition request made by Ukraine had been made at the request of Kazakhstan.
Ablyazov’s lawyer Bruno Rebstock was quoted last week by AFP as saying his client was “in fighting mode and determined,” to fight extradition.
Ablyazov, 50, fled his home country in 2009 after Kazakhstan prosecutors accused him of money laundering and fraud, and issued a warrant for his arrest. He initially went to Britain, where he was granted political asylum in 2011. Ablyazov was sentenced by a London High Court judge in February 2012 to 22 months in prison for contempt of court but fled the country.
Ablyazov’s wife and daughter were deported to Kazakhstan from Italy in July, Reuters reported, prompting calls for the resignation of the Italian interior minister.
According to Kazakhstan prosecutors, Ablyazov’s activities are also under investigation by the law enforcement authorities of Cyprus, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, and Latvia.
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Ablyazov faces 13 years in jail in Kazakhstan
Aug 06. Tengrinews
By Baubek Konyrov
The exile banker Mukhtar Ablyazov may face 13-year imprisonment with confiscation of property in Kazakhstan that is currently seeking his extradition from France, Tengrinews.kz reports citing the official representative of Kazakhstan General Prosecutor’s Office Nurdaulet Suindikov.
“Ablyazov is accused of committing several crimes: creation and management of a criminal group, embezzlement, legalization of illegally obtained funds, illegal use of the bank’s money, etc. The maximum prison term his is facing is 13 years with confiscation of property,” Suindikov said.
Kazakhstan plans to achieve Ablyazov’s extradition, he said and added that there have been positive development related to extradition of crime suspects from European countries lately that certify “trust of the international community” to Kazakhstan’s law-enforcement and judicial systems that “comply with the international human rights standards”.
Kazakhstan General Prosecutor’s Office has already sent a request on Mukhtar Ablyazov’s extradition from France. Mukhtar Ablyazov was arrested on July 31 not far from Cannes under the extradition request from 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 extradition to Russia may face some limitations. That’s why Ablyazov will most likely be extradited to Ukraine.
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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Ablyazov arrested for 40 days in France
Aug 06. Tengrinews
By Baubek Konyrov
Former head of BTA Bank Mukhtar Ablyazov was sentenced to 40 days in jail by the French court, Tengrinews.kz reports citing the official representative of Kazakhstan General Prosecutor’s Office Nurdaulet Suindikov.
“French Interpol bureau released a report on Ablyazov’s arrest at the territory of France on July 31. Interpol’s national bureau in Kazakhstan immediately sent an official confirmation of Ablyazov being on the wanted list. The same day he was arrested pending a decision on his status by the municipal court. On August 1 the Aix-en-Provence court sentenced Ablyazov to 40 days in jail in line with the French criminal procedure legislation,” Suindikov said.
According to him, the court ruled that Ablyazov should be kept in a detention center in Luynes until completion of all the procedures related to possible extradition. On August 2 Kazakhstan General Prosecutor’s Office sent a request to France asking for the extradition of Mukhtar Ablyazov.
“We also know that Ukrainian and Russian law-enforcement authorities sent the extradition requests to France. These processes are independent from each other. Nobody has a right to interfere or influence the decisions of the competent authorities of other countries related to search or requesting extradition of wanted persons. The issues of extradition of persons suspected of crimes are regulated by the domestic legislation of the countries where they hide, as well as by international agreements,” Suindikov said.
France, Russia and Ukraine are members of the European Extradition Convention signed on December 13, 1957 in Paris, he added. Kazakhstan is not a participant of this Convention. In line with the international obligations, French authorities are currently considering Ablyazov’s extradition to Ukraine. His extradition to Russia based on this Convention is also possible.
“The final decision on extradition of Ablyazov to one or another country will depend on the said circumstances. As for the prospects of Ablyazov’s extradition to Kazakhstan, I have to say that there has lately been positive developments related to extradition of crime suspects from European countries on condition of reciprocity, i.e. even in case of lack of the bilateral agreements,” the official said.