Austria asks Kazakhstan not to interfere with Aliyev investigation17 june 2014, 14:11
Austria has asked Kazakhstan not to interfere with their investigation of Rakhat Aliyev's involvement in the kidnap and murder of two Kazakh bankers Zholdas Timraliyev and Aibar Khasenov, Tengrinews reports citing Interfax-Kazakhstan.
"They always ask us not to interfere with their investigation. If they want to cooperate, we will be happy to be of aid. Besides, you know, there are all sorts of insinuations surrounding this case, so the Austrian prosecutors believe that such contacts are undesirable unless they are explicitly called for. I would not say that our relations are strained, it is just business," a source in the Prosecutor General’s Office told Interfax-Kazakhstan.
However, according to the source, Kazakhstani authorities were helping the Austrian investigation: "During the investigation we were providing all sorts of necessary things. When they wanted to see some evidence or wanted to question someone we provided the opportunity. The prosecutor herself did not travel here; she questioned all the witnesses and all those related to the case using a videoconference."
Rakhat Aliyev, who is currently under arrest in Austria’s capital Vienna since he handed himself in on June 5, was already convicted for the crimes in his home Kazakhstan back in 2008. The court found him guilty of kidnaping, torturing and murdering Timraliyev and Khasenov. According to Kazakhstani investigation, the two were kidnapped from the headquarters of Nurbank on January 31, 2007 by Aliyev, who at that time was the de facto owner of the bank.
“Austria is now investigating the same criminal case, they took all the materials of the criminal case [from us] and are now investigating it on their own. If their prosecutor concludes that there is enough evidence, she will charged him [Aliyev] and take him to court. The hearings will be held in Austria. This is going to be the very case that we investigated. But this is because they [Austria] denied our extradition request. There is an international principle that a country should either extradite or prosecute a wanted person. So if a country chooses not to extradite the person, then it is obliged to investigate the case and make the final decision," the source said.
According to the source, Kazakhstan is now supposed to stand by and wait for Austria to complete the investigation and aid only if asked. "If they don't ask we should just wait for the decision of their prosecutor and then the court. Judging from Western practices, this won't happen fast, it will take more than a month or two,” he said.
Rakhat Aliyev is a former Kazakhstan ambassador to Austria and former son-in-law of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. in 2008 he was convicted to a total of 40 years in prison in Kazakhstan. But the court verdicts were handed down in absentia, since Aliyev was hiding abroad since 2007.
Writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina