The Spanish Government will decide on the fate of Alexandr Pavlov
© 06.12.2013

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.


Country Austria Belgium Czech Republic France Germany Italy Kazakhstan Poland Russia Spain Ukraine Topic Ablyazov Aix-en-Provence Aleksander Kwaśniewski Alexander Pavlov Alga! Aliyia Turusbekova Alma Shalabayeva Alua Ablyazova amnesty Amnesty International Ana Maria Gomes Angelino Alfano Antonin Lévy Astana asylum Audiencia Nacional Bill Browder Bolat Atabayev BTA Bank Bundestag Cassation Court Catherine Ashton Christiane Taubira Corbas Danielle Auroi Decembrists Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan Denis Grunis deportation economy EEAS Elena Valenciano Elisabeth Guigou Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement EU-Kazakhstan European Commission European Union extradition Federica Mogherini Fernando Maura Barandiaran Filippo Grandi Five Star Movement France Francois Hollande Frank Schwabe freedom of speech Garry Kasparov Home Office HRW human rights i-link Ignacio Sánchez Amor ill-treatment Ilyas Khrapunov Ilyashev & Partners international protection Interpol Iogan Merkel Irene Lozano ITAR-TASS Jacek Saryusz-Wolski Jaromír Štětina Jean-Claude Juncker Kazakhgate Kazakhstan Kazakhstan’s Prosecutor’s General Office Kazaword Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski Kozlovska Kramek Laurent Fabius Lev Ponomarov Libero llyashev & Partners Lyon Lyudmyla Kozlovska Madina Ablyazova Mady Delvaux-Stehres Manuel Valls Manuela Serra Marcin Święcicki Marju Lauristin Mark Feygin Matteo Renzi Maurizio Improta Mediapart Michał Boni Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mukhtar Ablyazov Muratbek Ketebayev Nail Malyutin National Preventive Mechanism Nazarbayev Niccolo Rinaldi Nicolas Sarkozy non-refoulement principle Nursultan Nazarbayev Open Dialog PACE Pavel Svoboda Pavel Zabelin Peter Sahlas political asylum political persecution political prisoner prison privatization Process Rakhat Aliyev Ramazan Yesergepov rankings Red Alert Red Notice refugee status refugees release on parole repressions Russia Russian Federation Samruk-Kazyna Santer Sergey Duvanov Serhiy Khodakivskiy Solange Legras sources Spain Squarcini Statement Succession Sylvie Guillaume Syrym Shalabayev Tatiana Paraskevich the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine Thun Tomáš Zdechovský Tomasz Makowski Tony Blair torture trial Trofimov Tunne Kelam Ukraine unfair trial UNHCR United Nations Urko Aiartza Viktor Shokin Vitaliy Kasko Viviane Reding Vladimir Guzyr Vladimir Kozlov Warrant Yehor Sobolev Yevgeniy Zhovtis Yukos Zhanaozen Zinaida Mukhortova
  • World reacts