The next hearing on Mukhtar Ablyazov’s extradition is scheduled for January 2014
© 12.12.2013

On Thursday, 12 December, 2013, the court in Aix-en-Provence (France) did not reach a decision regarding the potential extradition of the Kazakh dissident, Mukhtar Ablyazov. The session during which the decision pertaining to both Ukrainian and Russian extradition requests is to be issued, has been postponed until January 2014.

As reported by Reuters news agency, the French prosecutor demanded that Ablyazov, who is accused by Kazakh government of embezzlement of funds from BTA Bank, be rendered to Ukraine or Russia. On the other hand, during Thursday’s hearing, Ablyazov himself emphasised that all accusations which have been made against him are false and have been fabricated. He also added that there is no evidence to prove that these charges are legitimate; rather, he is being persecuted for political reasons. The defenders argued that Ukraine and Russia act as a ‘long arm’ of Kazakhstan, as the latter does not have extradition agreement with France and so it uses indirect means in order to secure Ablyazov’s transfer to his homeland. The lawyers also explained that Astana, Kiev and Moscow are bound by regulations which provide for reciprocal rendering of wanted persons.

Mukhtar Ablyazov is one of the key figures of the opposition to regime of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. He is a co-founder of the association ‘Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan’, which fought for human rights and civil liberties. He is accused by Kazakh authorities of embezzlement of funds from BTA Bank.

On 31 July, 2013, Mukhtar Ablyazov was detained in France. Since that time, he has been remanded in custody.


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