Austrian prosecutors may present charges against Aliyev this December 12 декабря 2014, 21:25
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Charges against ex-ambassador of Kazakhstan to Austria Rakhat Aliyev may be brought in Austria as early as this December, Tengrinews reports citing Austrian Heute.
The criminal prosecution in Austria was initiated back in 2011 by Tagdyr foundation that represents those who had suffered from the actions of Rakhat Aliyev. Before that only white collar crime accusations were piling against Rakhat Aliyev in Austria, Germany and Malta.
Austria took interest in the criminal case against the Kazakhstani only after Kazakhstan requested Aliyev's extradition from Austria twice. Kazakhstan wanted him because its court found Aliyev guilty of abducting and then murdering two Kazakhstani bankers - Zholdas Temiraliyev and Aibar Khasenov. They were kidnapped in 2007 and found dead only in 2011, four years after their disappearance. Aliyev's was sentenced to a lengthly prison term in Kazakhstan but the sentence was never enforced because Aliyev fled from Kazakhstan as soon as the investigation into the murder cases started.
Austria denied both extradition requests from Kazakhstan, since it was unsure that Alieyev would get a fair trial in his home country, but nevertheless started its own criminal inquiry in July 2011 on suspicion of murder and abduction of the two Kazakh bankers.
Albeit these developments, Aliyev was enjoying a freedom of movement across Europe and moved to from Austria to Malta when the investigation began. He was arrested in Austria only on June 5 this year and has remained in jail in Austria since.
Rakhat Aliyev maintains his innocence and claims all the accusations against him - both originating in Europe and in Kazakhstan - were trumped up and politically motivated.
The prosecutors in Vienna are expected to soon finish the indictment, but since the case is politically sensitive the prosecutors need to get a go from the Austrian Ministry of Justice before they can proceed with the charges.
The Austrian Ministry of Justice is now led by Wolfgang Brandstetter who used to be one of Rakhat Aliyev's lawyers. Since entrusting the decision of Aliyev's fate to him may be a conflict of interest and many believe the Austrian Justice Minister may be biased, the Ministry created a special committee to take the final decision on whether charges are going to be brought against Aliyev or not.
The Ministry of Justice sent an act related to Aliyev's case to the Prosecutor's office this Wednesday. The prosecutor's office confirmed that it received the act, but declined to disclose its content. A spokeswoman of the Austrian Justice Ministry also refused to comment on whether the charges were approved by the committee or not.
According to a report of prosecutor Bettina Wallner that was released earlier, Aliyev's case contains a "chain of evidence that supports the suspicion of Aliyev's involvement in the murder of two managers of his bank in Kazakhstan back in 2007". To this Aliyev's lawyer Stefan Prochaska said that the accusations were based on a questionable testimony.
By Tatyana Kuzmina (Dinara Urazova contributed to the story)