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British Paper Says Kazakh Ambassador 'KGB Spy'

A British newspaper says it has evidence that the Kazakh ambassador to Britain has been a spy since 1988, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

"The Daily Mail" has reported that evidence given to the newspaper suggests Ambassador Kayrat Abuseitov "has been a KGB agent for 20 years."

Abuseitov told "The Daily Mail" that he did have contacts with KGB officers in the past, but has never been a spy and never received money from the KGB.

Rakhat Aliyev -- the former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev who used to supervise operations by the National Security Committee (KNB, the Kazakh successor to the KGB) -- told RFE/RL that Abuseitov has been an off-line employee of Kazakhstan's Barlau (Intelligence) agency, the former First General Department of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic's KGB.

Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Erzhan Ashikbaev told RFE/RL that he would not comment on rumors printed in the "yellow press."

"The Daily Mail" stresses that Abuseitov has met with Queen Elizabeth, senior British ministers, and has been involved in confidential United Nations discussions on terrorism and nuclear weapons.

The article says the report about Abuseitov is the latest controversy in British-Kazakh relations and the controversial role of Prince Andrew, the Foreign Office's special representative for international trade and investment.

Abuseitov is the honorary president of the British-Kazakh Society and Prince Andrew is its honorary patron.

Prince Andrew has also had personal business dealings with Kazakhs.