Kazakhstan prosecutors comment criminal cases against Ablyazov 18 февраля 2012, 10:43
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Mukhtar Ablyazov. Photo by Yaroslav Radlovskiy©
Kazakhstan General Prosecutor’s Office has commented the criminal cases against Mukhtar Ablyazov, Tengrinews.kz reports. “18 people have already been sentenced under three criminal cases for embezzlement of BTA money. The trial is currently in process on the criminal case filed last March against 22 people and with 42 episodes,” official representative of the General Prosecutor’s office Nursaulet Suindikov said. The prosecutors said that special prosecutors are investigating into 46 criminal cases on embezzlement of $5 billion by Ablyazov and members of his criminal group. These cases include a criminal case on artificial “pumping” of the bank’s capital for attraction of foreign investments that were later embezzled by Ablyazov, Suindikov said. “At the same time BTA Bank performs the claims work in London’s High Court. So far BTA Bank has filed 8 claims against Ablyazov and other former heads of the bank (Roman Solodchenko and Zhaksylyk Zharimbetov) for the total amount of $5 billion. In the course of civil cases the bank discovered that Ablyazov lies to the court and tries to sell the embezzled assets. Such actions are considered criminal by British legislation and are qualified as contempt of court,” Suindikov explained British court’s decision. He said that Ablyazov’s associate Paul Kythreotis (director of several offshore companies) was sentenced by London High Court to 21 months in prison for contempt of court in the end of October 2011. Ablyazov’s brother-in-law and assistant Syrym Shalabayev was convicted on the same counts to 18 months in prison. “Yesterday London’s High Court found Ablyazov guilty of commitment of several similar crimes and sentenced him to prison terms on three counts. The first 22-month term is given to him for concealing from the court that his is the owner of Burbis company (used for siphoning off the money and securities). The second 22-month terms is given to him for concealing the information that he is the owner of Carlton House, Oakland Park house and an apartment on Alberts Court-17, London. The third 22-month term is appointed for assignment of first refusal right in Stantis company in violation of the court order,” the prosecutors state. All three terms will be served simultaneously, i.e. Ablyazov will be imprisoned for 22 months; the court issued his arrest warrant. Earlier Tengrinews.kz English reported that judge Nigel Teare said that “he must be taken into custody immediately” and that he "does not doubt that Ablyazov deliberately violated the court's orders". The judge did not see any alternatives to imprisonment. Ablyazov did not arrive to court. The court decision was passed to his lawyer Duncan Matthews. BTA Bank that defaulted with a $12 billion debt was restructured in 2011. Ablyazov is accused of siphoning off the bank’s money by extending false loans. The ex-banker is on the international wanted list and lives in London. Similar criminal cases were initiated against several former heads of the bank in Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan over embezzlement of funds.