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London's High Court sentences Ablyazov’s brother-in-law to 22 months in prison

22 november 2013, 14:10
0
The Royal Court of Justice in London. ©REUTERS
The Royal Court of Justice in London. ©REUTERS
London's High Court has sentenced Salim Shalabayev, brother of Mukhtar Ablyazov wife Alma Shalabayeva, to 22 months in prison for contempt of court, Tengrinews reports referring to the press office of Kazakhstan's BTA Bank.

“On October 18 Salim Shalabayev was charged with contempt of court because of his repeated breaching of the court's orders. Mr. Shalabayev had been ordered not to leave England and Wales until he provides the court with the information regarding the millions of dollars that were channeled through the companies that were believed by the court to be controlled by Ablyazov. Despite the order, he refused to provide the information and absconded from the court,” says the report.

Mr Justice Eder ruled that Mr. Shalabayev committed “deliberate disobedience over a substantial period of time”, The Times quotes. He failed to disclose the requested information, abide by the court order not to leave England and gave false testimonies in the Court of Appeal.

“Mr. Justice Eder dismissed Mr. Shalabayev’s argument that he could not comply with the court orders for the reasons of his personal safety. The judge considered such claims to be unsubstantial," adds BTA bank.

And continues by quoting Mr. Justice Eder as saying that even if the claims were true the fact alone that “Mr. Shalabayev was very scared, has nothing to do with the court orders that have been issued”.

"The bank is determined to seek redress against those who have been instrumental in the losses that it has suffered from the fraud, as well as those who are assisting in the concealment of monies or assets misappropriated from the bank," BTA Managing Director Pavel Prosyankin is quoted by Reuters as saying in his statement.

Salim Shalabayev is the third accomplice of Ablyazov sentenced to prison for contempt of court by the High Court. His brother Syrym Shalabayev was sentenced in May 2011 in absentia and Paul Kythreotis, the accomplice who lives in Cyprus, was sentenced to two month of prison for contempt of court, and actually served his prison term in Cyprus.

Mr. Ablyazov himself was sentenced to a 22-month imprisonment for contempt of court before he fled Britain in February 2012.

He was in hiding for 18 months before the investigators traced him to a villa on the French Riviera. Mr. Ablyazov was arrested on July 31, 2013 not far from Cannes.

At the moment the Court of Appeal in Aix-En-Provence is considering his extradition. Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine have filed extradition requests.

BTA started legal proceedings against its former chairman Ablyazov and his associates in London in 2009. Ablyazov and his team are accused to siphoning off more than $6 billion from the bank and pitching the bank into insolvency. Ablyazov, a former Kazakhstan government minister, denies the charges and says they are politically motivated.

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