FAQ - questions and answers

When and where was Mukhtar Ablyazov born

Mukhtar Ablyazov was born on 16 May, 1963 in the Galkino village in the southern region of Kazakhstan.

What education did Mukhtar Ablyazov receive

After graduating from high school in Galkino in 1990, he began his studies at the Moscow Physical-Technical Institute (MEPI), but subsequently, he dropped the university in order to engage in business activities.

What is Mukhtar Ablyazov’s family status

Mukhtar Ablyazov has a wife, Alma Shalabayeva who, along with their daughter Alua, was illegally deported from Italy to Kazakhstan and three older children.

How was Mukhtar Ablyazov’s professional career developed

In 1993, he founded the company ‘Astana-Holding’, which he headed until 1997. In July 1997, Ablyazov was appointed by President Nazarbayev to the position of Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the state-owned Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC). In 1998, Ablyazov created an investment fund which subsequently acquired 100% of the shares of the ‘TuranAlem’ bank from the state (in 2008, it acquired the name: BTA Bank).

What public office did Mukhtar Ablyazov hold

In 1998-1999, Mukhtar Ablyazov served as Minister of Energy, Industry and Trade of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

When did Mukhtar Ablyazov begin his political activities

In 2001, Mukhtar Ablyazov became one of the organisers and leaders of the Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DCK).

How did the Party of the Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan operate

The party ‘Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan’ (DCK) won supporters among young people, and also gained some popularity in the ranks of public administration and business. It very sharply criticised the corruption and nepotism surrounding Nazarbayev, which brought to the situation when Nazarbayev became personally involved in the neutralisation of the new political movement. Soon, the authorities carried out a purge in the state apparatus, from which they removed members and supporters of the DCK, whileits representatives were accused of abuse, brought to trial and sentenced to long prison sentences. In 2003, the court ordered disbandment of the party.

Are opposition activities still carried out despite the banning of the party

The heritage of Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan was referred to by the unregistered ‘Alga!’ party, established in 2005, whose leader, Vladimir Kozlov, was convicted in 2012 and is currently serving his sentence of 7.5 years’ imprisonment. As a result of a split in the DCK party, in 2002, a centre-right pro-business organisation ‘Ak Zhol’ emerged from it; today, it sits in the parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan as part of the so-called ‘licensed opposition’, cooperating with the authorities.

Why did Mukhtar Ablyazov leave Kazakhstan

Mukhtar Ablyazov and other representatives of BTA Bank were accused of misappropriation of property worth 6-15 billion dollars. Twelve people were sentenced to imprisonment ranging from 2 to 8 years. Others, including Ablyazov, decided to leave Kazakhstan because they can’t count on a fair trial and would be at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. International arrest warrants were issued for all of them.

When was Mukhtar Ablyazov arrested

Mukhtar Ablyazov was arrested by the French police in the vicinity of Nice (France) on 31 July, 2013.

Where is Mukhtar Ablyzov residing at the moment

Currently, Mukhtar Ablyazov is being remanded in custody in Luynes, near Aix-en-Provence. His incarceration will be maintained until the time that a decision on his extradition is issued.

Why was Mukhtar Ablyazov arrested

Mukhtar Ablyazov was arrested on the basis of international arrest warrants, which had been issued by Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine, accusing him of embezzlement which he allegedly committed during his management of BTA Bank.

What are the allegations against Mukhtar Ablyazov

For his opposition activities in Kazakhstan, Mukhtar Ablyazov was presented charges of leadership of a criminal group and terrorism. In addition, he was accused of fraud in the amount of $ 6-15 billion, which he allegedly committed during his management of BTA Bank.

Is Mukhtar Ablyazov at risk of being extradited

Mukhtar Ablyazov’s extradition is requested by Ukraine and Russia. Currently, Ablyazov is being held in custody, pending the consideration of the extradition requests by court. 9 January, 2014 the court in Aix-en-Provence accepted both requests, preferring the claim of Russia Ablyazov's legal team said they would appeal. The date of the hearing regarding the request issued by Ukraine was scheduled for 5 December, 2013. The request submitted by the Russian side is to be considered on 12 December, 2013.

Why is Open Dialog Foundation rendering assistance to Mukhtar Ablyazov

The Open Dialog Foundation is striving to prevent the extradition of Mukhtar Ablyazov due to the political nature of his case and accusations. In addition, there is a risk of torture which Mukhtar Ablyazov may be subjected to in a Kazakh prison. The international community: politicians, human rights organisations and the citizens of Europe who recognise the right of every person to a fair trial (which Mukhtar Ablyazov cannot hope for in Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine) have been increasingly frequently speaking in his defence.

Where can I find current information about Mukhtar Ablyazov

Most information and news can be found at www.mukhtarablyazov.org. Besides, key news are published on the Open Dialog Foundation’s website: www.odfoundation.eu. Information can also be found on social media profiles such as: www.facebook.com/OpenDialogFoundation, www.facebook.com/MuhtarAblazov, or by following the hashtags : # MukhtarAblyazov # Ablyazov

How can I help in Mukhtar Ablyazov’s case

You can help in many ways, and each form of aid is equally important. We encourage you to disseminate the information about Mukhtar Ablyazov’s situation among your friends and acquaintances. Due to our opportunities to reach the public, we will be grateful for liking and sharing information published on our profile on Facebook: facebook.com/OpenDialogFoundation and websites: www.mukhtarablyazov.org and www.odfoundation.eu. If you are a journalist and you're reading these words, it means that you are interested in Mukhtar Ablyazov’s case. Please contact us at: media@odfoundation.eu. We will give you all the necessary information and pass on press releases, expert commentaries and graphic materials. If you would like to start working for the protection of human rights by supporting the Open Dialog Foundation team, please contact us at: odfoundation@odfoundation.eu.

Who funds this website

The website was created by the Open Dialog Foundation and is administered by its team. Mukhtar Ablyazov’s family was advised of this project taking place.