Another hearing in Ablyazov’s case at the end of September
On Thursday, 25th September, another hearing is to be held in the Court of Appeal in Lyon (France) concerning the extradition of the Kazakh dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov. It is hard to say whether any concrete decisions will be made then. It is only known after the June decision of the said Court that representatives of Russia and Ukraine, that is countries which are requesting Ablyazov’s handover, will be allowed to participate in the hearing.
In recent weeks, as well as the political motivations behind the persecution of Ablyazov, corruption patterns have also become clear; in these, investigation bodies of Ukraine and Russia have worked together and, in fact followed instructions given by the national bank, BTA which is now serving Kazakhstan’s President, Nursultan Nazarbayev in the fight, on an international scale, against Ablyazov and his circles.
On 3rd June, the Court in Lyon decided that the September hearing could be attended by representatives of Russia and Ukraine – acting in collusion with Kazakhstan’s authorities, but to a limited degree only. By decision of the Court which found that Russia and Ukraine are not parties to the case, the countries are not entitled to access the files or submit or add documents thereto. Russia is to be represented by an official delegate of the Russian Federation’s Prosecutor General’s Office in Lyon, and Ukraine by lawyers of the private law firm Winston & Strawn LLP.
It is noteworthy that the participation of the law firm Winston & Strawn LLP, certified by a document signed by the investigator Maksim Melnik was challenged by the Ukrainian court. In the hearing, also held on 3rd June, the Pechersky Regional Court decided that the permit issued by investigator Melnik was unlawful and thus invalid. The Court also ruled on the need to abrogate the decision.
BTA Bank whose authorities are now lobbying in Russia and Ukraine to intensify efforts aimed at extraditing the dissident, had previously been owned by Ablyazov. After a political conflict caused by his support for the democratic opposition and media in Kazakhstan, the authorities in Astana forcibly nationalised the bank and accused Ablyazov of driving it to the verge of bankruptcy which became the official reason for the international arrest warrants and extradition requests, not only on the part of Kazakhstan but in collaboration with the then regime of Yanukovych and also Putin.
In the desire to avoid prison and the fate of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Ablyazov left for the UK where he was granted political asylum. Despite the legal protection he was entitled to, he was detained in France in June 2013 and put in an extradition detention centre. Since then, a legal battle has been going on to liberate him, and its major fronts are not only court rooms but those of politicians as well as the media. A material role is also played by organisations defending human rights and counteracting the abuse of Interpol instruments by non-democratic states to fight their political opponents worldwide.
On 25th September, representatives of the Open Dialog Foundation will be present in Lyon as part of the observation mission together with other defenders of human rights from countries such as France, Poland, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
04Cassation court refuses to annul Ablyazov extradition decisions
06Court refuses to release Ablyazov on bail
25Ablyazov has not lost asylum in the UK
27Court Decision in June on Russia and Ukraine’s Participation in Ablyazov’s Trial
10France has refused to extradite Mukhtar Ablyazov to Russia and Ukraine
Ablyazov’s memories: how he dropped out of school and got into business
Mukhtar Ablyazov with family
Mukhtar Ablyazov: Prison Camp Experience
The Italian television channel ‘TG1’ about the kidnapping of Ablyazov’s family members
Akorda’s political hostages
- The case of Tatiana Paraskevich: Through misuse of the EU's justice system, Kazakhstan's lobbyists seek to have Paraskevich's asylum status revoked (.pdf, 0.32 MB)
- The Open Dialog Foundation welcomes Lithuania’s decision to deny the extradition of Syrym Shalabayev to Kazakhstan or Ukraine (.pdf, 0.33 MB)
- Prominent Russian human rights activists сalled for preventing the extradition of Mukhtar Ablyazov (.pdf, 0.18 MB)
- Human rights defenders write to Lithuanian authorities in support of Syrym Shalabayev (., 0 MB)
- In a shocking decision, French Government Decrees Extradition of Kazakh dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov to Russia (.pdf, 0.42 MB)