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Kazakh tycoon to appeal French extradition order

16 january 2014, 11:20
0
Mukhtar Ablyazov. ©AFP
Mukhtar Ablyazov. ©AFP
A lawyer for exiled Kazakh oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov, an opposition figure wanted on embezzlement charges by Russia and Ukraine, said Wednesday he had appealed a French decision allowing his extradition, AFP reports.

"We made a double appeal on Monday against the decision favouring his extradition to Russia and the other to Ukraine. We hope things will be settled by summer," Bruno Rebstock told AFP.

A court in the southern city of Aix-en-Provence last week approved the extradition.

It said extradition to Russia should take priority as the scale of the embezzlement alleged by Moscow ($5 billion) is far greater than that alleged by Ukraine ($400 million).

The former Kazakh energy and trade minister, who was arrested on the French Riviera in July, is accused of having stolen billions of dollars in state and investor funds while leading the Kazakh BTA Bank, which also had interests in Ukraine and Russia.

Ablyazov argues that the allegations against him were fabricated by Kazakhstan as a result of him falling out of favour with the oil-rich country's rulers.

Kazakhstan continues to pursue Mukhtar Ablyazov's extradition from France. Kazakhstan is goining to negotiate over this issue with France. Ablyazov is wanted in Kazakhstan for embezzlement, fraud, money laundering and siphoning off BTA bank's funds through dummy companies and illegal financial schemes.

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