Accessibility links

Timeline: Rakhat Aliev's Fall From Grace

Rakhat Aliev (right) in 2005 with his then wife Darigha, daughter of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev

Rakhat Aliev (right) in 2005 with his then wife Darigha, daughter of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev

Rakhat Aliev rose to the pinnacle of political power in energy-rich Kazakhstan as the son-in-law of President Nursultan Nazarbaev. But when he fell, he fell hard. We look at the key events leading to Aliev's reported suicide in a Vienna prison on February 24.

December 10, 1962 -- Born in Almaty, the son of a prominent surgeon, Mukhtar Aliev, who later served as health minister of the Kazakh Soviet Republic.

October 7, 1983 -- Marries Darigha Nazarbaeva, the eldest daughter of Nursultan Nazarbaev, who becomes Kazakh prime minister the following year. The couple go on to have three children.

1986 -- Graduates from Almaty State Medical Institute.

June 22, 1989 -- Nazarbaev named Kazakh Communist Party head.

December 16, 1991 -- Nazarbaev elected first president of independent Kazakhstan.

1996-97 -- Aliev, after spending several years in commercial enterprise, becomes head of the Kazakh tax police.

1999-2001 -- Rises through the ranks of Kazakhstan's KGB successor agency, the KNB, to become second in command.

April 2000 -- Satzhan Ibrayev and Pyotr Afansenko, bodyguards to former Prime Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin, testify that Aliev as KNB deputy ordered them to be tortured in order to force a confession that Kazhegeldin had been plotting a coup to remove Nazarbaev from power in the late 1990s. Kazhegeldin said the claim was retribution for his decision to break ties with Nazarbaev because of his increasingly autocratic tendencies.

2002 -- Aliev named Kazakh ambassador to Austria.

Rakhat Aliev with Nursultan Nazarbaev in 2001

Rakhat Aliev with Nursultan Nazarbaev in 2001

2003 -- Aliev allegedly berated by Nazarbaev for broadcasting footage of Georgia's 2003 Rose Revolution on his KTK television station.

December 4, 2005 -- Nazarbaev elected to his third term as president.

February 13, 2006 -- Altynbek Sarsenbaiuly, a senior government official who broke ties with Nazarbaev to co-create the Naghyz Ak Zhol opposition party, shot dead with two aides outside Almaty.

March 10, 2006 -- Darigha Nazarbaeva publishes a sensational article recounting "family secrets," including allegations that Aliev was one of the main suspects in Sarsenbaiuly's murder. The article deeply angered Nazarbaev, who launched a crackdown on his daughter and son-in-law's media holdings, including the KTK and Khabar television stations, and forced Nazerbaeva to merge her Asar political party with the pro-presidential Otan. (Nazarbaeva later claimed she was in a "negative psycho-emotional state" at the time she wrote the article.)

January 2007 -- Aliev takes over as the main owner of Nurbank, one of Kazakhstan's most successful banks.

January 31, 2007 -- Nurbank's vice president and board chairman, Zholdas Timraliev and Aibar Khasenov, are reported missing. Their mutilated bodies were found days later. The incident came weeks after Aliev reportedly briefly kidnapped and threatened Timraliev and another Nurbank official to pressure them into passing him ownership of an Almaty financial building. The wives of the two victims call for a criminal investigation to be opened.

February 9, 2007 -- Nazarbaev appoints Aliev to a second term as ambassodor to Austria, thereby giving him an convenient excuse to leave the country. Aliev never returned to Kazakhstan

May 18, 2007 -- Kazakh Parliament approves a "president-for-life" constitutional amendment paving the way for Nazarbaev to run for unlimited terms. Aliev responds by publicly criticizing the amendment and announcing his own intention to run for president in 2012.

Rakhat Aliev in 2007

Rakhat Aliev in 2007

May 26, 2007 -- Aliev fired from ambassadorial post and charged in absentia by Kazakh prosecutors with the kidnapping of the Nurbank officials. He is arrested and released on $1.36 million bail pending extradition to Kazakhstan. Austria eventually denies two extradition requests, citing Kazakhstan's poor human rights record.

June 12, 2007 -- Aliev involuntarily divorced from Darigha Nazarbaeva, who says she was "pressured" by her father to do so.

2008 -- Kazakh court sentences Aliev in absentia to 40 years in prison after convicting him of plotting to overthrow the government and organizing a kidnapping ring.

2010 -- Aliev marries his assistant, Elnara Shorazova, an Austrian citizen, and flees to Malta, where he lives under the assumed name of Rakhat Shoraz.

2011 -- Austria opens its own investigation into Aliev's role in the Nurbank killings.

2013 -- Kazakh authorities name Aliev as suspect in Sarsenbaiuly murder.

June 2014 -- Aliev turns himself in to Austrian authorities and is placed in custody.

December 2014 -- Austrian prosecutors charge Aliev with the kidnapping and murder of the two Nurbank officials. Trial due to begin in March or April 2015.

February 24, 2015 -- Aliev found dead in his solitary confinement cell of an apparent suicide.