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Rakhat Aliyev's family members involved in corruption within Palestinian political establishment

13 july 2012, 13:46
0
Issam Hourani and Mahmoud Abbas. Photo courtesy of challahhuakbar.blogspot.com
Issam Hourani and Mahmoud Abbas. Photo courtesy of challahhuakbar.blogspot.com
Jonathan Schanzer, Vice President of Research Foundation for Defense of Democracies made a testimony at the hearing before House Committee on Foreign Affairs in Washington, DC, on July 10.

The testimony gave details of the corruption within the Palestinian Political Establishment and was mainly concerned with Abbas and the role that the United States inadvertently played in giving him a complete sense of security.

“We threw all the resources at our disposal at Mahmoud Abbas, in the belief that he was the moderate alternative to Hamas. Yet in providing him with cash, intelligence, military assistance, and other valuable services to shore up his rule, we convinced Abbas that there was virtually nothing he could do, short of starting a war with Israel, that could prompt Washington to challenge his authority,” Jonathan Schanzer told the U.S. Congress.

Detailing the doings of Abbas and his loyalists Jonathan Schanzer mentioned Hourani brothers – Devincci and Issam – who were closely related to Rakhat Aliyev who 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).

According to the congressional statement, Devincci Hourani and Yasser Abbas, received help from the Palestinian Authority ambassador to Sudan Sayed al-Masri to win three oil blocks on behalf of CIOC. The operation in Sudan may be a violation of US sanctions laws because Devincci is believed to be an American citizen.

“Sons of Mahmoud Abbas have also been in continuing contact with the Hourani brothers about business opportunities in Kazakhstan, the Ukraine, and Montenegro,” Schanzer said in his statement quoting intelligence officials.

Devincci Hourani is a subject of investigation in Kazakhstan as well. Kazakhstan recently won arbitration in Paris against Rakhat Aliyev’s family member Devincci Hourani.

The dispute in Kazakhstan “was related to termination of the contract for exploration and production of hydrocarbons at Caratube field because of violations and failure to perform the contract terms by CIOC company, allegedly owned by Devincci Hourani,” Kazakhstan Justice Ministry said.

These “investment” activities of Devincci Hourani in Kazakhstan were not a coincidence. He is a younger brother of Rakhat Aliyev’s brother-in-law Issam Hourani. In the beginning of 1990s they started their activities in Kazakhstan. Back then their father Salakh Hourani approved the arrival of his elder son, Issam Salakh Hourani, in Kazakhstan for a higher education.

Later Issam Hourani married Gulshat Aliyeva, a younger sister of Rakhat Aliyev. Having secured the backing of the “high-powered” family member, Issam Hourani started accumulating capital in Kazakhstan, involving other family members and partners, including his younger brother Devincci Hourani.

Rakhat Aliyev is Kazakhstan's former Ambassador to Austria and ex husband of Dariga Nazarbayeva, the eldest daughter of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Aliyev served as chief of the tax police, deputy foreign affairs minister and head of the Kazakh equivalent of the KGB before he divorced Dariga and fled Kazakhstan. He now lives in Malta with his new wife and is said to be looking for ways to flee to the United States.

Lawyers in Austria and Malta are now mounting a legal challenge against Rakhat Aliyev in the name of the wives of two bankers who were kidnapped and later found dead in Kazakhstan.

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