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Kazakhstan Again Seeks Extradition Of Aliev From Austria

Rakhat Aliev, the former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev

Rakhat Aliev, the former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev

ASTANA -- Kazakhstan has sent another request to the Austrian government calling for the extradition of Rakhat Aliev, the former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Kazakh Deputy Prosecutor-General Johan Merkel told journalists about the request in parliament on June 23. Austria has previously rejected two extradition requests from Astana for Aliev, the first time in 2007 when Austrian officials said he was unlikely to receive a fair trial in Kazakhstan.

Last week Aliev, 48, was accused in absentia of involvement in the killings of Nurbank top managers Zholdas Temiraliev and Aybar Khasenov, whose bodies were found on the outskirts of Almaty in May.

On June 17, the Viennese court denied another request from the Kazakh authorities for Aliev's extradition. Aliev's lawyer said earlier that his client no longer lives in Austria but in Malta.

In 2008, Aliev and Alnur Musaev -- the former chairman of Kazakhstan's National Security Committee -- were each sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison for "[the] organization of a criminal group, abduction, and preparation for the illegal seizure of power."

Aliev and Musaev, who have been living in self-imposed exile in Europe since 2007, deny the charges against them.

Aliev, 48, was deputy chairman of Kazakhstan's National Security Committee, deputy foreign minister, and ambassador to Austria and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe at different times in the last 15 years.

In 2007, he left for Austria after investigations were launched into his alleged involvement in the disappearance of the Nurbank managers in Almaty.

Temiraliev and Khasenov disappeared following a raid on Nurbank offices by law enforcement officials in June 2007. The raid was allegedly intended to force the executives to sell their interests in an Almaty building.