A British judge has sentenced a Kazakh businessman accused of embezzling billions of dollars from one of Kazakhstan’s largest banks to 22 months in prison for contempt of court.
Mukhtar Ablyazov, a former chairman of Kazakh bank BTA, is being sued by BTA in Britain for alleged fraud worth $4 billion.
The court ruled that Ablyazov, who was not present to hear the decision, had acted in contempt of court because he failed to disclose the full extent of his assets.
BTA accuses Ablyazov, who has been granted asylum in Britain, of siphoning off the money during his time as chairman of the bank between 2005 and 2009.
BTA is now owned by the Kazakh government, which rescued it in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Ablyazov denies the claims, which he says are politically motivated and are an attempt by Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev to eliminate him as a political opponent.
With agency reports