Former BTA Bank CEO's Property May Be Seized

Former BTA Bank CEO's Property May Be Seized

Property of the fugitive ex-CEO of BTA Bank, Mukhtar Ablyazov, may be seized in Kazakhstan, First Deputy Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan Iogan Merkel told the press .


Ablyazov was detained on July 31 2013 near Cannes, France. Kazakhstan is seeking the extradition of Ablyazov, who fled to the UK after the Kazakh government acquired a stake in defaulted BTA in 2009 and the bank came under the control of its sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna.


But Kazakhstan and France do not have an extradition treaty. Ablyazov, 50, is accused of embezzling billions of dollars from BTA. On January 9, the court of Aix-en-Provence ruled to extradite Ablyazov to Russia or Ukraine, with the priority given to the Russian side.


Merkel on Wednesday introduced a draft of the new Criminal Code of Kazakhstan stipulating the seizure of wanted persons' illegal property. This measure will apply to individuals who left Kazakhstan and can't be extradited for a score of objective reasons.


Ablyazov, the bank's former chairman, fled to Britain and was granted political asylum in 2011. He left the country a year later when a London High Court judge sentenced him to 22 months in prison for contempt of court.


BTA has filed 11 law suits in London accusing its former top management of embezzling $6 billion. Ablyazov claims the charges against him are politically motivated.


The High Court ordered Ablyazov to pay $400 million in damages to BTA in November after ruling that the bank had been defrauded of $300 million in a case relating to a portfolio of AAA-rated securities.


Many media have noted that this case is an example of change in the European Union in this field. Europeans are gradually moving away from the mechanisms still allows large thieves and fraudsters find refuge in European countries.


In 2001, the French authorities refused to extradite a Russian former owner Novokuznetsk aluminum smelter Michael zhivilo. There were no political motives. However, in 2005 in France zhivilo got it for political asylum.


Previously, European countries were purely economically advantageous fugitive thieves who contributed capital inflows and welfare in Europe. Likely today in the European Union have already seen other sentiment in favor of the benefits of the larger and more strategically important economic projects in the former Soviet Union. Naturally, it scares fugitive oligarchs. They see all the information is no longer effective pressure connecting public opinion when Ablyazova type are persecuted Democrat.


There are many opinions and explanations on the situation around Ablyazov and his entourage. However, most clearly assess his actions gave his "peers," Mr. Kazhegeldin living at this time in London.


In an interview with Western media other fugitive "dissident" Mr. Kazhegeldin said: "Ablyazov was an opportunity to turn the judicial system in the UK for the fortress itself. But after London's High Court sentenced Ablyazov to 22 months in prison for contempt of court, he was constantly on the run and, despite the fact that his passport was handed over to the court of London, he fled the country, taking advantage of "spare" passport . If Abliyazov behaved not as a particularly dangerous international criminal, things could be completely different. "


As for attempts Ablyazova lawyers and a cursory banker turn his prosecution in political persecution, neither the French nor the British prosecutors and the court itself is not considered "political" claims substantiated. They believe that Ablyazov so just trying to avoid prison.



World media monitoring






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