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Kazakhstan Ambassador tells Italians about Ablyazov's crimes

01 august 2013, 16:28
0
Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Italy Andrian Yelemessov. ©FAO News
Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Italy Andrian Yelemessov. ©FAO News
Kazakhstan Ambassador to Italy Andrian Yelemessov is calling Mukhtar Ablyazov “a convicted criminal” in his article published by Foreign Policy Journal. The Ambassador believes that Italians are largely unaware of who the former BTA Bank chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov truly is and what he has done to make himself wanted by law-enforcement authorities of 5 countries.

“Being the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Italy, I believe that it is my duty to provide this information, considering that Mr. Ablyazov, a Kazakh citizen, has triggered an internal crisis of the Italian Government, a country with which Kazakhstan has a long-standing relationship of mutual support and friendship of strategic importance, both in terms of political and economic partnership,” the diplomat writes, adding: “He is a criminal on the run and it is good to keep this in mind.”

Ablyazov is neither a dissident nor an opposition leader, Yelemessov writes. According to him, the only followers of Ablyazov are those who are on his payroll. “There is a legitimate and very active opposition in Kazakhstan and several parties of the opposition secured seats in the national Parliament during the last round of the elections; none of those, however, recognize Ablyazov as their leader,” the Ambassador writes adding that the only media supporting Ablyazov is the one he himself funds. “Mr. Ablyazov benefited for the better part of his life from the political system, was indeed part of it including holding a ministerial position, and was then caught stealing from his country, at which point he declared himself an “opposition leader” to the Government and fled Kazakhstan. This is hardly the career path of a genuine opposition leader,” he writes.

Yelemessov remind that Ablyazov continued committing crimes after fleeing Kazakhstan. In particular, Kyrgyzstan authorities recently initiated a criminal case against its immigration officials who issued fake passports to the exile banker and his family members. Ablyazov is on the wanted list in Ukraine and Russia for fraud as well.

Ablyazov was granted asylum in the United Kingdom in 2011, but repaid it with a contempt of London's High Court. The court barred his lawyers from making oral submissions because of their client’s numerous obstructions of justice and sentenced Ablyazov to 22 months in jail for contempt of court for lying about his assets and violating the court's freezing order issued in 2009. Later the court deprived Ablyazov of the right to defend in court.

BTA bank is pursuing Mr Ablyazov in London’s court for misappropriation of at least $6bn from the bank. FT called this case "one of the biggest and most complex fraud cases in banking history".

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