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Ex-KNB Head Says Austrian Court Made Politically Motivated Verdict

Alnur Musaev
Alnur Musaev
PRAGUE -- The former head of the Kazakh National Security Service (KNB) says a "not guilty" verdict by an Austrian court in an alleged abduction attempt against him was made to please Kazakhstan, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Former KNB head Alnur Musaev, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Austria since 2007, told RFE/RL on January 19 that it is "no coincidence" that the trial in Vienna started on January 14, the same day Kazakhstan was inaugurated as the chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Defendant Ildar A., 61, a Kazakh native and Austrian citizen, was acquitted of espionage charges and found not guilty of attempts to kidnap Musaev and Rakhat Aliev, the former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev.

Ildar A.'s lawyer said his client will seek compensation for the year he spent in pretrial detention.

Musaev said there was an Austrian parliamentary investigation into alleged attempts by the KNB to influence current and former members of the parliament through bribes and media manipulation, but the findings of the investigation were not made public.

Musaev said he was attacked on July 17, 2008, by three men who tried to force him into a car. Musaev said he "managed to take psychological advantage of the men and even got the phone number of the group leader."

Musaev added that the assailants ran away after a man who was waiting for him on the street approached the scene. Musaev said Ildar A. assisted the three in their abduction attempt, but that the defense falsified evidence.

In accusing the court, Musaev also admitted that he was not completely honest when he gave his testimony.

Musaev said he could not admit in court that he knew Ildar A. because as a KNB member he is bound by an oath to Kazakhstan. But he insisted he did not lie to the court because he said he did not know Ildar A. "personally" -- which he said is a fact.

In Kazakhstan, Musaev was stripped of his rank as KNB general and sentenced in absentia to 35 years in jail on criminal and political charges.

Musaev said the Austrian court will also hear a case on a second abduction attempt against him in September 2008, when he was allegedly attacked by several armed men in Vienna.

RFE/RL was unable to reach Austrian Justice Ministry officials or the Attorney General's Office for reaction to Musaev's comments.