Alma Shalabayeva's deportation
In the early hours of 29 May, 2013, the special Italian police unit for organised crime – DIGOS (Divisione Investigazioni Generali e Operazioni Speciali) broke into a house rented by Shalabayeva's sister, Venera Seralieva, located in the outskirts of Rome, in Casal Palocco.
The official target of the special operation, carried out by over 30 armed officers, was Ablyazov himself. Police planned to arrest him following a notice issued by Interpol. In Ablyazov’s absence, the officers of DIGOS arrested his wife, Alma Shalabayeva, and their six-year-old daughter, Alua Ablyazova. Alma and Alua were detained on suspicion of illegal residence.
After confirming their Kazakh nationality with the embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Italy, the Italians decided on their immediate deportation. During the night of 31 May, 2013, Alma Shalabayeva and her daughter Alua were deported to Kazakhstan. The deportation was carried out despite the fact that the Ministry of Justice of the Central African Republic and two diplomatic posts had confirmed the validity of the CAR diplomatic passport (No. 6FB04081 – attached) issued in the name of Alma Ayan.
Thus far, the legal grounds under which the deportation was carried out, are unknown. The wife and daughter of Mukhtar Ablyazov were expelled by decision of the justice of the peace and the decision of the prefect of Rome on administrative expulsion. The counsels point out that such a procedure was applied in Italy for the first time in this instance. Alma Shalabayeva and Alua Ablyazova didn’t pose a threat to public order nor national security in Italy, and so there was no reason for their immediate deportation.
Alma Shalabayeva had the right to reside in the EU, having received permission from Latvia and the United Kingdom. During her detention, counsels were not permitted to meet with Alma, thus depriving her of the right to challenge the deportation and the right to a retrial. According to the law, following her arrest, Shalabayeva also had the right to request asylum. Police officers violated this rule by depriving her of the opportunity to initiate the procedure an asylum applicant should be guaranteed this protection). Italy, bound by the UN Convention against torture, was also obliged not to expel Shalabayeva to a country, where she may face torture.
The entire extradition process was carried out in an unprecedentedly short time. Alma and Alua were transported to Kazakhstan on a chartered plane, just two days after their arrest. For this purpose, an exclusive jet ‘Bombardier BD-100-1a10 Challenger’ was leased by an Austrian company ‘Avcon Jet’ to the company ‘Air Dynamic srl’. The invoice for the rental was submitted to the Kazakh Embassy in Italy.
According to Mukhtar Ablyazov, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. “I hereby announce that the kidnapping of my family has been organised on the orders of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Previously a political opponent, he has now moved on to outright terrorism, i.e. taking hostages”, – Mukhtar Ablyazov stated.