After the hearing on the Russian extradition request: What next for Ablyazov?
© 17.10.2014

On 17th October, a court session was held concerning Russia’s extradition request. Ablyazov was accompanied to the Court by a police escort, comprising four cars and four motorcycles and two helicopters. It resembled a passage of a head of state rather than the transportation of a prisoner accused of fraud. 

As in the previous hearing, the Court did not agree for Ablyazov to be represented by Peter Sahlas and decided not to hear witnesses.

Ablyazov effectively refuted the allegations made against him. He pointed out that money cannot possibly have been stolen if land was purchased with it and the land was transferred to the bank as agreed. This is what follows from the allegations made by the Russians; they contradict themselves, Ablyazov noted. The Russian prosecuting documents indicate that more than 100 of BTA Bank’s clients remain “unknown”. These people supposedly stopped paying the Kazakh BTA Bank following an “order”. Where did the Russian investigators get such information and how did they access it? How is it that the particulars of these people are not known? How can more than 100 clients of the bank possibly remain unknown?’ Ablyazov pointed out.  

The witnesses were to include the former chess champion and one of Russian opposition leaders Garry Kasparov, one of the founders of the Russian human rights organisation “Memorial”, Lev Ponomarov, and the advocate Mark Feigin, the defence lawyer of the Pussy Riot band and, currently, the female Ukrainian pilot Savchenko. 

The Court’s session on Friday continued for over 12 hours. The Court is to announce its decision at 5 p.m. on 24th October.


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