The Spanish Government will decide on the fate of Alexandr Pavlov
Within the next few weeks, the fate of Alexandr Pavlov will become known. On 8 November, the Spanish Audiencia Nacional court upheld the ruling which sanctioned his extradition to Kazakhstan. Now, the Spanish government will decide whether the former security chief of the Kazakh dissident, Mukhtar Ablyazov will be rendered to the country, where he is accused, amongst other things, of planning of a terrorist attack.
The ruling in the extradition case has uncovered a tremendous division among the judges involved in the trial. Ten of them voted in favour of rendering Pavlov to the Kazakh authorities, and seven judges (Ramón Sáez Valcárcel, Manuela Fernández de Prado, Teresa Palacios, Javier Martínez Lázaro, Antonio Díaz Delgado, José Ricardo de Prada and Clara Bayarri) strongly opposed the rendering.
The written reasons behind the ruling, published on 22 November, indicate that the court considered the case to be criminal, and not political. The reports presented by the defence, which originate from international authorities and organisations, were, in the opinion of the court, prepared specifically for these extradition proceedings. According to the court, there are also no objective grounds to doubt the guarantees provided by Kazakhstan.
– The reasoning of the court, which justifies the judgement, seems tendentious. The court states that there is no basis to consider the extradition request to be politically motivated, and that the request is aimed at putting the person before the court for ordinary criminal offences. The court considers the documents submitted by Kazakhstan as completely objective and unbiased – in contrast to the documents submitted by the defence. It is impossible to agree with such a notion. The arguments presented in Kazakhstan's extradition request repeatedly reiterated the discredited information about the preparation of a terrorist attack in Almaty, which was supposed to have been organised in 2012 by the ‘criminal group’ of Alexandr Pavlov, Muratbek Ketebayev and Mukhtar Ablyazov. The Polish prosecutor's office finds the allegations of criminal activity, also aimed at Ketebayev (who is residing in Poland), as unreliable and possibly politically motivated – explains Jędrzej Czerep, who has been monitoring Alexandr Pavlov's extradition case on behalf of the Open Dialog Foundation.
The facts contradict the reasoning of the court. The reports submitted to the court as evidence of the risks that Pavlov faces, were compiled long before the extradition case was initiated. The Open Dialog Foundation's report on torture during trials in the Zhanaozen case is dated 2012, and the Supreme Bar Council's report describes the course of the mission to Kazakhstan, which took place on 21-29 April, 2013. Pavlov was arrested on 1 June, 2013. The political nature of the case has been confirmed by a series of arrests and extradition requests made throughout Europe by Kazakhstan and (indirectly) by Ukraine and Russia relating to the associates of Mukhtar Ablyazov. The government of Kazakhstan considers Ablyazov its main political opponent, and the people in his circles are considered his partners in anti-state activities.
Will Pavlov be extradited to Kazakhstan? This decision is now to be made by the Spanish government, which is expected to hold a meeting on the matter in the coming weeks. According to their own assurances, submitted in responses to interpellations of MPs Irene Lozano and Jona Inarritu, the government will independently assess the reliability of the diplomatic assurances provided by Kazakhstan (which ensures its readiness to a fair trial), and will also take into account the entirety of the court's reasoning for the ruling.
07The list of Kazakh dissidents, their families and colleagues persecuted with the use of INTERPOL in the European Union in 2012-15
02Ingancio Sanchez Amor in defence of Ablyazov: Appeal to the French government
16Kazakh with political refugee status in Poland released from Spanish jail
13Deputy Prosecutor General of the Kazakh Republic recalls the agreement with Russia concerning the handover of convicts
28Court Dismisses Kazakhstan’s Complaint regarding the Release of Alexander Pavlov on Bail
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