Spanish government secretly issues decree to extradite asylum-seeker to Kazakhstan
© 20.02.2014

Alexandr Pavlov, Former Bodyguard of Mukhtar Ablyazov, Faces Imminent Extradition; Decree Issued Secretly to Prevent Pavlov from Obtaining an Injunction from European Court to Stop Extradition; Lawyers Decry Unjust Extradition and Grave Procedural Irregularities in Asylum Case

Judicial sources today informally tipped off the Madrid lawyer of Alexandr Pavlov that the Spanish government secretly issued a decree on February 14, 2014 giving a green light to extradite Pavlov to Kazakhstan. The lawyer is now attempting to obtain a copy of the decree. Therefore, Pavlov cannot apply to the European Court of Human Rights for an injunction to stop the extradition, because the Strasbourg-based court must be provided a copy of the decree to issue an injunction.

According to lawyer María Costa, "This is an abominable denial of Alexandr Pavlov's human rights and an underhanded move by the officials concerned in the Spanish government. We have already announced that Alexandr Pavlov intends to apply for an injunction at the European Court to stop his extradition. By not providing the extradition decree to us, they are denying him a chance to stop an extradition that will undoubtedly lead to his torture and unjust imprisonment in a notoriously corrupt regime."

Pavlov is the former bodyguard and chief of security of refugee ex-banker and Kazakh political opponent Mukhtar Ablyazov. Pavlov’s extradition is sought by Kazakhstan in order to compel him to provide false testify to build a fabricated case against his former boss. Pavlov worked for the Ablyazov family for two decades and is also a close personal friend of the family, increasing his "hostage value" in Kazakhstan.

Moreover, Pavlov is an asylum-seeker. Human rights groups have urgently called on Spain not to extradite him, given grave procedural irregularities that occurred in the treatment of his asylum case, and the obvious political context of the extradition request. Costa stated that she fears that Pavlov’s extradition could occur at any moment. She recalled the collaboration between Kazakh and Italian officials in the summer of 2013, who unlawfully seized Ablyazov’s wife and six-year-old daughter and sent them to Kazakhstan in a private jet personally escorted by Kazakh diplomats.


Alexandr Pavlov was arrested in Madrid in December 2012. He is sought by Kazakhstan because he is close to Mukhtar Ablyazov, who at the time was in hiding after being warned by London’s Metropolitan Police and others that he was the target of assassination and kidnapping plots. In April 2013, a Madrid court decided against Pavlov’s extradition and he was freed from detention. However after a February 2013 visit to Spain by Kazakhstan’s dictator, Nursultan Nazarbayev, and discussions between Nazarbayev and King Juan Carlos I, as well as top government officials, and subsequent political contacts between Spain and Kazakhstan, Pavlov suffered a total reversal of fortunes. He was re-arrested and imprisoned in June 2013, after voluntarily re-appearing before a court. This despite the grounds for arrest being obviously groundless and fabricated charges of terrorism, which Kazakh officials had somehow neglected to inform Interpol of prior to his December 2012 arrest on financial allegations. Despite being an asylum seeker with the support of Amnesty International and leading human rights NGOs in Kazakhstan, who claim the case against him is fabricated and politically-motivated, Spain has now decided to extradite Pavlov into the hands of a notorious dictator. When Pavlov’s extradition was decided by Spain on November 8, 2013, Pavlov’s Madrid lawyer, María Costa, stated: "Spain's decision to extradite Pavlov is a shame and a sad testament to the power of political dealing over human rights. Those who decided to send this man into the hands of a notorious dictator should not be able to sleep soundly at night. The grounds against his extradition are perfectly solid. Given the irregularities in the handling of his asylum case, and the obvious political context of the extradition request, it defies belief to understand how Spain can justify sending an asylum seeker to Kazakhstan against the calls of organisations as credible as Amnesty International."


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