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Kazakh Ministry Rejects Aliev's Blackmail Accusations

Rakhat Aliev, the former son-in-law of the president, is wanted in Kazakhstan
ASTANA -- The Kazakh Foreign Ministry has officially rejected accusations that the government was involved in a campaign to blackmail former presidential son-in-law Rakhat Aliev, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The Foreign Ministry's Erzhan Ashikbaev said on February 16 that neither the ministry nor the Kazakh Committee for International Information has anything to do with a campaign mentioned by Aliev in a statement he posted on the Internet.

Aliev is living in self-imposed exile in Austria, which refuses to fulfill Kazakh demands for his extradition. He was tried in absentia last year and found guilty of kidnapping, torture, and extortion in Kazakhstan.

Aliev said in his blog last week that Kazakh authorities gave the Foreign Ministry $10 million to organize a campaign to damage his reputation.