Another hearing in Ablyazov’s case at the end of September
© 10.09.2014

On Thursday, 25th September, another hearing is to be held in the Court of Appeal in Lyon (France) concerning the extradition of the Kazakh dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov. It is hard to say whether any concrete decisions will be made then. It is only known after the June decision of the said Court that representatives of Russia and Ukraine, that is countries which are requesting Ablyazov’s handover, will be allowed to participate in the hearing.

In recent weeks, as well as the political motivations behind the persecution of Ablyazov, corruption patterns have also become clear; in these, investigation bodies of Ukraine and Russia have worked together and, in fact followed instructions given by the national bank, BTA which is now serving Kazakhstan’s President, Nursultan Nazarbayev in the fight, on an international scale, against Ablyazov and his circles.

On 3rd June, the Court in Lyon decided that the September hearing could be attended by representatives of Russia and Ukraine – acting in collusion with Kazakhstan’s authorities, but to a limited degree only. By decision of the Court which found that Russia and Ukraine are not parties to the case, the countries are not entitled to access the files or submit or add documents thereto. Russia is to be represented by an official delegate of the Russian Federation’s Prosecutor General’s Office in Lyon, and Ukraine by lawyers of the private law firm Winston & Strawn LLP.

It is noteworthy that the participation of the law firm Winston & Strawn LLP, certified by a document signed by the investigator Maksim Melnik was challenged by the Ukrainian court. In the hearing, also held on 3rd June, the Pechersky Regional Court decided that the permit issued by investigator Melnik was unlawful and thus invalid. The Court also ruled on the need to abrogate the decision.

BTA Bank whose authorities are now lobbying in Russia and Ukraine to intensify efforts aimed at extraditing the dissident, had previously been owned by Ablyazov. After a political conflict caused by his support for the democratic opposition and media in Kazakhstan, the authorities in Astana forcibly nationalised the bank and accused Ablyazov of driving it to the verge of bankruptcy which became the official reason for the international arrest warrants and extradition requests, not only on the part of Kazakhstan but in collaboration with the then regime of Yanukovych and also Putin.

In the desire to avoid prison and the fate of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Ablyazov left for the UK where he was granted political asylum. Despite the legal protection he was entitled to, he was detained in France in June 2013 and put in an extradition detention centre. Since then, a legal battle has been going on to liberate him, and its major fronts are not only court rooms but those of politicians as well as the media. A material role is also played by organisations defending human rights and counteracting the abuse of Interpol instruments by non-democratic states to fight their political opponents worldwide.

On 25th September, representatives of the Open Dialog Foundation will be present in Lyon as part of the observation mission together with other defenders of human rights from countries such as France, Poland, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.


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
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