Meeting with French Consul General in Almaty
© 14.01.2014

Leaders of a number of Kazakh civil organisations have issued an appeal concerning Mukhtar Ablyazov to the French consul general in Almaty, Patrick Renard. The activists expressed their lack of understanding as to the extradition decision of the Aix-en-Provence court, allowing for the dissident to be expelled to Russia and Ukraine. They also asked the French authorities to take a look at the political aspect of the process; it having been the focus of world public opinion in recent weeks.

On 14th January 2014, at noon, a group of around thirty gathered in front of the French Consulate General in Almaty. A meeting was held between the diplomatic post’s head, Patrick Renard and a delegation consisting of independent politician Zhasaral Kuanyshalin, head of the ’Ar. Rukh. Khak foundation’, Bakhytzhan Toregozhina, head of the ‘Libertin’ social organisation, Galym Ageleuov, president of the ‘Balga’ foundation, Marat Zhanuzakov as well as the associate of the Human Rights Bureau, Yerlan Kaliev.

The consul general was presented with a statement addressed to the president of France, the Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, signed by citizens of Kazakhstan. The statement expressed their regret at the French court not having taken into account many of the circumstances of the case of the oppositionist, Mukhtar Ablyazov and consented to the latter’s extradition to Russia and Ukraine. During the meeting, Patrick Renard mentioned that courts in France are independent and political powers cannot exert influence over them. He also explained the procedure for examination of the case: a period of three months is allotted for an appeal and in the case of difficulties, the term may be prolonged. If the Aix-en-Provence court decision remains unchanged, it will be submitted to the Minister of Justice for his approval. Then, the barristers will have the option of appealing to the European Court of Human Rights.

The Consul also underlined that the oppositionist’s supporters need not fear his extradition to Kazakhstan, as he thought it to be simply impossible. Renard pointed out that both Russia and Ukraine are members of the Council of Europe, so if they were to violate the obligations stemming from this fact, they would face significant difficulties in the international arena. In turn, the Consul was astonished by the fact that the issue of political refugee status granted to Mukhtar Ablyazov by the UK was not raised during the meeting. Patrick Renard considers that as the appeal is revised, a relevant query ought to be submitted to London by France. If the status is confirmed, Ablyazov’s extradition should be postponed, and the Aix-en-Provence court decision rescinded.


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