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Viennese prosecutors charge Rakhat Aliyev with double-murder 02 января 2015, 13:37

Austrian prosecutors have formally charged the fugitive Kazakh tycoon Rakhat Aliyev with murdering two bankers in Kazakhstan in 2007.
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Rakhat Aliyev. Photo courtesy of azattyq.org Rakhat Aliyev. Photo courtesy of azattyq.org

Prosecutors in Austria have charged Rakhat Aliyev, an ex-Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Austria, with double murder, Tengrinews reports citing Malta Today.

A Viennese court said on Tuesday that the former son-in-law of Kazakhstan’s President Aliyev was charged with the murder of two Nurbank top managers Zholdas Timraliyev and Aybar Khasenov back in 2007. Upon receiving the charges Aliyev’s lawyers have two weeks to appeal them. In case of conviction, he is facing at least 10 years in prison.

Previously, the former Ambassador was held in Vienna for "investigative custody" after voluntarily giving himself in to the authorities.

Kazakhstan requested extradition of the fugitive tycoon, who fled the country in 2007 after the murder charges emerged. He was found guilty in absentia and sentence to 40 years in prison. Austria denied Kazakhstan's requests.

Aliyev has repeatedly claimed that the whole case against him is politically motivated and constitutes an international conspiracy involving both Kazakh and European politicians. The Austrian authorities checked this possibility but excluded it in their draft indictment earlier, finding a clear financial motive in the murder of the two bankers.

Allegedly, Rakhat Aliyev suspected Timraliyev and Khasenov were enriching at his expense and embezzling millions of dollars from his bank Nurbank. After auditing the bank Aliyev found that there were millions of overdue loans extended to borrowers affiliated with the bank's employees or former employees. One of the bad loans was a $30 million loan to Aybar Khasenov’s company. In addition, Aliyev accused Zholdas Timraliyev in receiving kickbacks on loans that were at the bank's disadvantage.

Aliyev and two of his accomplices purportedly abducted Timraliyev and Khasenov to get them to confess of stealing from Nurbank, but the affair eventually led to the murder of the two. 

By Dinara Urazova 

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