Astana – Vienna: Hard Talk

Astana – Vienna: Hard Talk

By Felix Zutner

The Head of the state Nursultan Nazarbayev has authorized the security officials to adopt all measures for the extradition of Rakhat Aliyev: “Austria is our partner, with which we have great economic relations. Now Austrian government has no arguments not to deliver these criminals, for the justice to triumph. Rakhat Aliyev is in fear, that is why he initiates in order to distract the attention of public from this fact of murder of young men, which is irrefutably proven, and wants to purge himself from suspicion. And despite all these we should finish the case”.

On behalf of Kazakhstan the law enforcement agencies of Kazakhstan has sent to Austria another demand for the extradition of Rakhat Aliyev to motherland, who is charged with a new accusation – this time it is murder of top-managers of Nurbank Zholdas Timraliyev and Aibar Khasenov who disappeared four years ago. Before this, the kind of demands Astana repeatedly addressed to Vienna, but previously the accusations towards the ex son-in-law and ex-Ambassador were different – then Rakhat Aliyev was blamed only in treason against motherland and kidnapping of two top-managers, the bodies of which were found only this May. After the secret burial site was defined a few weeks ago, double murder has been added to the former bunch of accusations towards Rakhat Aliyev. However, considering that Austria replied constantly with refusal on all previous demands on the case more known as “Rakhatgate”, which gave no hopes for the change of Vienna’s line this time...  And that it happened.

In the middle of June the court of Vienna refused to extradite Aliyev to Kazakhstan, who three years ago was sentenced-in his absence to 40 years of imprisonment.  Particularly, he was convicted in accordance with the articles “arrangement of seizure of power”, “criminal group organization”, “kidnapping of people”. The decision of Austrian judge is grounded on that the ex-husband of the President’s daughter Dariga Nazarbayeva can’t expect fair justice in his motherland.

Judging by the documents, the authorities of Austria are not at all interested in extradition of the fugitive criminal, moreover, with all means try to help Rakhat Aliyev to escape from the criminal responsibility, and even prepare documents for his free entrance to another country.

As the lawyer of Vienna Bureau “Lansky, Gangzer and Partners” representing the interests of relatives of murdered top-managers of Nurbank – Zholdas Timraliyev and Aibar Khasenov, the held inter-ministerial secret session included the representatives of the Ministry of Justice of Austria, the Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Director of the Federal Committee for Protection of the Constitution and Fight against Terrorism, and also on refugees issues.

“At this session, held by the way recently on May 23rd of 2011, the top-ranking officials discussed, what Austrian government should do with another demand from the General Prosecutor Office of the Republic of Kazakhstan to extradite Rakhat Aliyev and his associates to the motherland”, -- explained in Vienna the lawyer of the company.

In the result of the session Austrian authorities made a decision to extradite Rakhat Aliyev and 4 his associates. As the documents state the officials decided to grant the fugitive criminals the status of refugees, the so-called “tolerated persons” in accordance with the last amendments to the law on foreigners. This status gives the right for temporary, but legal staying within the territory of Austria. Moreover, it gives Aliyev and his associates the possibility to leave the country in case if the law enforcement bodies decide to initiate a criminal case.

“A reliable source informed us that Rakhat Aliyev and his associates expect to get visas to go to Malta. And the documents are being arranged by the Federal Committee for Protection of the Constitution and Fight against Terrorism”, - reported the Lawyer Bureau “Lansky, Gangzer and partners”.

The actions of the officials, according to the lawyers, contradict all the norms of  the criminal law of Austria.

“Evident are all the signs of corpus delicti and abuse of power. The fact that Austrian authorities and first of all the Federal Committee for Protection of the Constitution and Fight against Terrorism want  to send the anticipated murderers silently is the peak of unimaginable scandal. The measure of restriction as arrest should be imposed towards the suspected persons; they should be put to the deportation jail. We call also Vienna Prosecutor’s Office to start immediately the official investigation in order to reveal the accomplices of Aliyev in law enforcement agencies of Austria”, -- noted Gabriel Lansky.

The lawyer Lansky intends to file a case on the suspicion of abuse of power to the Prosecutor’s Office, which deals with corruption cases.

The case of Aliyev has somehow become the domestic case of Austria – state system provides him with various services, including the government, parliament, justice authorities and police. Except for that, there are serious reasons to think that definite circles illegally used Aliyev to gain from him secret information on the administration of Kazakhstan and state secrets, and assured a number of preferences in Austria in exchange.

It’s possible that here a significant role is played also by the mercantile interest of some powers of Austria, that use financial resources of R. Aliyev. For example, in May 2007 Aliyev paid 500 thousand Euro to football club of Vienna and 210 thousand Euro to some Austrian company “Red Carpet”.

A powerful Austrian magazine “News” in this respect note that the political thriller developing in Austria, in which the main character is played by the influencing Kazakhstani oligarch, clearly demonstrates that Austrian bodies may have big troubles in the issues of law.

Meanwhile, as Austrian newspaper “Krone” assures that Rakhat Aliyev together with his associates after the announcement of Vienna court decision managed to leave the Republic of Austria. It’s pretty possible that now the ex-diplomat is in Malta.

However, as observers note, the development of the current situation around Aliyev’s case contains not only new accusations towards the criminal.

Seriously should also be perceived by Austrian authorities the reminder of Nazarbayev that Austria is the partner with which Kazakhstan has “great economic relations”.  Does the flourishing European country, which today Austria is, need to torture in vain these relations because of the escape oligarch? It is the question that shall find  the answer in the result of this Vienna political thriller.

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