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Alma Shalabayeva permitted to leave Kazakhstan

24 december 2013, 16:34
Alma Shalabayeva with her daughter. Photo courtesy of uralskweek.kz
Alma Shalabayeva with her daughter. Photo courtesy of uralskweek.kz
Alma Shalabayeva, the wife of Kazakhstan's fugitive banker Mukhtar Ablyazov, is no longer under recognizance not to leave Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports citing the official representative of Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry Zhanbolat Ussenov as saying at the press-briefing.

"The law enforcement authorities of Kazakhstan have decided to change the measures of pretrial restraint for Alma Shalabayeva from the written pledge not to leave Almaty to a bail," Ussenov said, but did not specified the amount of bail.

He said that Shalabayeva and her daughter were aided in receiving new valid passports and now they can apply for foreign visas. "Alma Shalabayeva can go to any foreign country of her choice starting from today," he pointed out.

According to the Ministry's representative, the decision to changing the restriction measures was made based on her personal application and on the request of the Italian government. "Italy is an important partner for Kazakhstan, and we are cooperating with the Italian Foreign Ministry," Ussenov said.

He said that Alma Shalabayeva had been staying at her parents’ house in Almaty since July 2013.

Alma Shalabayeva, 47, was arrested by the Italian authorities for illegal stay in Italy with fake Central African passport and was deported to Kazakhstan together with her daughter by the Italian authorities on May 31, 2013.

Her husband Mukhtar Ablyazov, a fugitive banker charged with embezzlement of billions of dollars in several countries and sentenced to a prison term by the London High Court, was arrested on an extradition request from Ukraine in the south of France near Cannes by French special forces on July 31.

Ablyazov is wanted in Kazakhstan for embezzlement, fraud, money laundering and siphoning off billions of dollars of BTA bank's funds through dummy companies and illegal financial schemes. He may face 13-year of prison with confiscation of property in Kazakhstan.

Shalabayeva is involved in a separate case on forgery of Kazakhstan passports by her husband’s relatives. One of those passports was issued to the name of Shalabayeva herself.

By Renat Tashkinbayev

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