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Five People Arrested In Kazakh Kidnapping Probe

Rakhat Aliev has been charged with involvement in the kidnapping (epa) June 18, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Kazakhstan's Interior Ministry says five people have been arrested in a kidnapping case involving a former son-in-law of President Nursultan Nazarbaev, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported.

AFP quoted an Interior Ministry spokesman as saying that three of those arrested directly participated in the kidnapping in January of two managers at Nurbank, and another two were charged with handling stolen property connected to the case.

Kazakhstan has charged Rakhat Aliev, the ex-husband of Nazarbaev's eldest daughter, Darigha Nazarbaeva, in connection with the kidnapping of the two managers at Nurbank, a bank Aliev controls. The officials' abduction was allegedly intended to force them to sell their interests in a building in Almaty.

Aliev, who was also Kazakhstan's ambassador to Austria, was arrested by Austrian authorities earlier this month and later released on bail. He is still in Austria awaiting a decision on extradition back to Kazakhstan.

(with material from agency reports)

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