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Kazakh Officials Deny Involvement In Austrian Spy Scandal

Rakhat Aliev
ASTANA -- Kazakh officials have denied any involvement in an espionage scandal in which two Austrian policemen were arrested for spying for Kazakhstan.

Kazakh National Security Committee (KNB) spokesman Kenzhebolat Beknazarov told RFE/RL's Kazakh Service that the KNB had nothing to do with the men arrested and has not received any official documents about the case.

The Vienna prosecutor's office told RFE/RL that the two officers are suspected of gathering information from a computer about Rakhat Aliev -- the former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev.

Aliev, who used to be the Kazakh ambassador to Austria and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, has been living in self-imposed exile in Vienna since 2007.

He was tried by Kazakhstan in absentia last year and found guilty of kidnapping, torture, and extortion. He says the charges are politically motivated. Austria has refused to extradite Aliev to Kazakhstan.