Kazakhstan may allow Shalabayeva return to Italy 24 июля 2013, 17:08
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Alma Shalabayeva with daughter. Photo courtesy of uralskweek.kz
Kazakhstan may allow the wife of former BTA Bank’s chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov go back to Italy, RIA Novosti reports citing Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. “From the legal point of view, there is a chance of Alma Shalabayeva and her daughter going back to Italy. For that she needs to apply to Kazakhstan’s authorities with a request to travel, including abroad, on bail. In this case Kazakhstan will require guarantees from Rome,” Kazakhstan authorities replied to the Italian journalists who inquired about Shalabayeva. Ablyazov’s wife Alma Shalabayeva is currently under recognizance not to leave Almaty and can freely move around the city and communicate with anyone she wishes. “She is not tortured or exposed to abuse or inhuman or humiliating punishments,” Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry told the Italian newspaper. Ablyazov is accused of embezzlement of almost $6 billion from Kazakhstan’s BTA Bank. The businessmen fled from Kazakhstan in 2009 after a criminal case was initiated against him. Ablyazov was granted an asylum in Great Britain. Kazakhstan is requesting the banker’s extradition, because he is charged with major fraud and siphoning off the bank’s funds via dummy companies. Besides, several criminal cases related to embezzlement of BTA’s funds were initiated in Russia upon lawsuits filed by the new management of BTA Bank. This April the investigation department of Russian Interior Ministry completed the investigation of the case against Dmitry Pak, the co-owner of Delo leasing company and its Director General Oleg Tsaryov. Pak, former Ablyazov’s partner, and his accomplice are accused of major fraud and laundering of illegally obtained funds. The actions of Russian businessmen resulted in BTA Bank's lose of its right to recover loans issued to the leasing company totally worth over $70.3 million and 16 million rubles ($506.8 thousand). In February 2012 London’s High Court 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. Ablyazov is now wanted by the law-enforcement authorities but his whereabouts are not known. In November 2012 the court ruled out to freeze his assets. It was reported later that Ablyazov fled to France, while the Italian authorities put him on the wanted list in the beginning of July. On May 31 Alma Shalabayeva and her daughter Alua were deported by the Italian authorities for illegal stay in Italy with fake Central African passports and one and half months later the Italian authorities suddenly decided to reverse their deportation order. After that incident two Italian parties expressed outrage to Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano and the Ministry’s Chief of Staff Giuseppe Procaccini resigned. Some of the media outlets wrote that Italy was thinking about expelling Kazakhstan Ambassador to Rome Andrian Yelemessov.