By Alina Kantor

At the beginning of 2015 in Vienna should start one loud trial. Themis appear before the ex-ambassador of Kazakhstan in Austria Rakhat Aliyev. Proceedings in his case lasted from 2007. The same number of Kazakhstan seeking his extradition to his homeland. Former official accused of contract murders, kidnappings, extortion and financial fraud


The prosecutors in Vienna are expected to soon finish the indictment.


The criminal prosecution in Austria was initiated back in 2011 by Tagdyr foundation that represents those who had suffered from the actions of Rakhat Aliyev. Before that only white collar crime accusations were piling against Rakhat Aliyev in Austria, Germany and Malta.


Austria took interest in the criminal case against the Kazakhstani only after Kazakhstan requested Aliyev’s extradition from Austria twice. Kazakhstan wanted him because its court found Aliyev guilty of abducting and then murdering two Kazakhstani bankers – Zholdas Temiraliyev and Aibar Khasenov. They were kidnapped in 2007 and found dead only in 2011, four years after their disappearance. Aliyev’s was sentenced to a lengthly prison term in Kazakhstan but the sentence was never enforced because Aliyev fled from Kazakhstan as soon as the investigation into the murder cases started.


Austria denied both extradition requests from Kazakhstan, since it was unsure that Alieyev would get a fair trial in his home country, but nevertheless started its own criminal inquiry in July 2011 on suspicion of murder and abduction of the two Kazakh bankers.


Albeit these developments, Aliyev was enjoying a freedom of movement across Europe and moved to from Austria to Malta when the investigation began. He was arrested in Austria only on June 5 this year and has remained in jail in Austria since.


Contained in the indictment opinion Austrian prosecutors partially repeats the charges brought against Aliyev Kazakh side. At home he was sentenced to 40 years in prison (in the aggregate) not only kill people, but was found guilty of actions aimed at seizing power in a number of other war crimes.


It is also known that due to financial fraud Aliyev, the company Palestinian businessman Horani «Caratube International Oil Company LLP» (CIOC) was awarded a contract for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons in the oil field Karatyube. The company had to invest in the field, but he did not. Moreover, a few years after the start of the proceedings Aliyev, CIOC sued Kazakhstan, demanding the return of investment (1.2 billion. US dollars) allegedly made to them in the field Karatyube. International Centre for Settlement of Investment dismissed the claims of the plaintiffs and ordered the company to pay CIOC in favor of Kazakhstan US $ 3.2 million in compensation for the costs of arbitration.


The Tribunal found that there was insufficient proof that CIOC was controlled by Devincci Hourani. The ICSID arbitral tribunal ordered CIOC to pay US$3.2 million to Kazakhstan towards its arbitration costs. CIOC was awarded nothing by the Tribunal. In spite of the efforts of Hourani brothers, the Tribunal dismissed the arguments of the plaintiffs and decided that it lacked jurisdiction. 


These “investment” activities of Devincci Hourani in Kazakhstan were not a coincidence. He is a younger brother of Rakhat Aliyev’s brother-in-law Issam Hourani. In the beginning of 1990s they started their activities in Kazakhstan. Back then their father Salakh Hourani approved the arrival of his elder son, Issam Salakh Hourani, in Kazakhstan for a higher education.


Later Issam Hourani married Gulshat Aliyeva, a younger sister of Rakhat Aliyev. Having secured the backing of the “high-powered” family member, Issam Hourani started accumulating capital in Kazakhstan, involving other family members and partners, including his younger brother Devincci Hourani. And Kazakhstan won arbitration against Rakhat Aliyev’s family.


Arrest warrant issued Aliyev Vienna in May of this year. After that Aliyev was forced to surrender to the authorities and cooperate with the investigation. Warrant suggests that a person who is in the area of the European Union may be delayed in any EU country and transferred to Austria for further investigation.


Even the current charges is enough. If the court finds the Austrian Aliyev guilty, he could face up to 10 years in prison.






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