Rakhat Aliyev searching for ways to flee to United States

29 june 2012, 16:11
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Rakhat Aliyev searching for ways to flee to United States - Rakhat Aliyev. Tengrinews.kz stock photo
Rakhat Aliyev. Tengrinews.kz stock photo
Malta Today has recently published an article on the criminal investigation held by Austrian prosecutors into the case of 49-y.o. Rakhat Aliyev, ex husband of the eldest daughter of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The former son-in-law of Kazakhstan President is called "Kazakh millionaire" in the article. Aliyev served as chief of the tax police, deputy foreign affairs minister and head of the Kazakh equivalent of the KGB before he divorced his daughter Dariga and fled Kazakhstan.

Journalist Matthew Vella asked Malta authorities about granting Aliyev the permanent residence permit in 2010, despite of the objections of the police and the Interpol alert.

The journalist writes that for some unclear reasons, the Maltese government chose not to consider the fact that Aliyev had been a subject of a criminal investigation since 2007 (Kazakhstan court sentenced him durante absentia to 20 years in jail for kidnapping two Nurbank top-managers Zholdas Temiraliev and Aybar Khasenov).

After being briefly detained by Austrian authorities, acting on an arrest warrant issued in Kazakhstan, Aliyev was released on bail of €1 million. The Austrian government has refused to extradite Aliyev to Kazakhstan but initiated criminal investigations of its own.

The European Commission says it is aware of the Aliyev investigations and wants Eurojust to coordinate the cross-border investigation; German MEP Elmar Brok has written to foreign minister Tonio Borg asking about Aliyev.

Aliyev lives in Malta in Mellieha's swank Santa Marija estate with his new wife Elnara Shorazova. Aliyev is registered under the name of Rakhat Shoraz. Covering with another name, Aliyev is, perhaps, hiding from Austrian investigators, the journalist assumes.

Maltese authorities do not rush to comment the situation with awarding the residence to Aliyev. Foreign Ministry only insists that Aliyev is executing his right, being married to an EU citizen.

"Alijev has a residence permit issued by the Austrian government, he is married to an EU citizen, and as such enjoys freedom of movement and residence," the ministry's spokesperson Melvyn Mangion said and added that "should Austrian authorities issue a European arrest warrant, this will be executed by the Maltese authorities".

According to Lothar de Maizière, lawyer of Kazakhstan's ex-prime-minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin, "Mr Aliyev is super-rich and he can get around legalities". This could well explain how Aliyev came to hold the permanent residence status that is a special residence permit for rich property buyers who come to Malta to benefit from its generous tax rebates for non-domiciles.

The journalist also writes that according to some sources, Rakhat Aliyev is searching for a way to safely flee to the United States. Embassy cables leaked by Wikileaks show that there have been requests for US assistance on Aliyev's extradition. But former US ambassador to Kazakhstan Richard Hoagland calls Washington to stay out of the dispute. "Both sides - the government and Aliyev - seek to manipulate us to their own advantage," Malta Today cites Hoagland as saying.

The article also cites The New York Times stating that Aliyev has engaged lobbyists to press US House of Representatives to criticize Kazakhstan government, referring to Aliyev as a victim of political repressions.

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