Il Messaggero: Shalabayeva, the passport was valid: she should not have been deported
© 20.03.2014

The passports of Mukhtar Ablyazov and his wife, Alma Shalabayeva, were authentic. The acknowledgement has come directly from the Kazakh Embassy in France, which, over recent months, has sent numerous letters to the representatives of the Central African Republic asking them to «invalidate diplomatic and ordinary passports, issued illegally to the Kazakh citizens».

Alma Shalabayeva

The date on the last of these missives is February 18, less than a month ago. It demonstrates how a Central Asian country that last summer obtained consent from the Ministry of Internal Affairs

for a swoop that led to the woman’s repatriation, is now exerting heavy pressure in order to obtain extradition of the principal leader of the internal opposition, currently under arrest in France. These letters, however, could now prove crucial in refuting the only accusation that Alma Shalabayeva still has to exonerate herself from in Italy. But one act will never be made amends for: last summer, the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Rome signed, without reservation, her deportation order assuming that the passport was fake.

KAZAKH PROMISES On February 6, 2014, it was the ambassador of the Central African Republic, Emmanuel Bongopassi, who submitted the Kazakh requests to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: «Dossier Kazakistan», dated November 12, 2013, «The cases of Khrapunov and Ablyazov from Kazakhstan»: «Invalidation of the diplomatic and/or ordinary passports issued illegally by the Central African Republic for the benefit of the citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan».

A few days later, on February 11, 2014, Bongopassi writes a long note to the minister, in which he explains the details of a meeting with his colleague «regarding the invalidation of the diplomatic and ordinary passports granted to the Kazakh citizens». During the meeting, the Kazakh ambassador reportedly offered strong political backing should the Central African Republic agree to invalidate the documents: using its «excellent relations with France to contribute to a significant improvement in the global situation of the Central African Republic»; an «important diplomatic mission» to be completed by the end of March, 2014, following «the invalidation of said passports», which will influence the internal policies in Kazakhstan. Bluntly speaking, the invalidation of the passports could persuade Kazakhstan to develop «new cooperation agreements with the Central African Republic».

A few more days go by, and on February 18, the Central African Republic announces the dismissal of the ambassador who had offered to act as a go-between. In the following days, the correspondence will be delivered to the owner of the file, a public minister, Eugenio Albamonte, who investigated the representatives of the Kazakh Embassy in Italy with regard to kidnapping Alma Shalabayeva and her daughter Alua, who were returned to their country in the first days of June. «These documents amount to final confirmation of the validity of the passports», concluded the woman’s counsel, Astolfo di Amato. 

Author: Sara Menafra
Source: Il Messaggero