Accessibility links

Breaking News

French Prosecutor Wants Kazakh Tycoon Extradited To Ukraine

Mukhtar Ablyazov in a 2006 photo
Mukhtar Ablyazov in a 2006 photo
A French public prosecutor is recommending the extradition of fugitive Kazakh banker Mukhtar Ablyazov to Ukraine on embezzlement charges.

Advocate-General Solange Legras told a southern French court on December 12 that Ablyazov should be considered a "criminal on a grand scale" and not a dissident of the Kazakh government.

Ablyazov, former chief of Kazakhstan's BTA bank, is accused of having embezzled billions of dollars and fled Kazakhstan.

He is wanted on charges in Russia, Ukraine, Brtiain, and Kazakhstan.

In court on December 12, Ablyazov said the charges against him were "fabricated by Kazakhstan" and that he is being "persecuted for political reasons."

Legras said Russia and Ukraine are obligated by international conventions to not give Ablyazov to Kazakh authorities, adding: "It's easy to be an [oppositionist in order] to hide one's true nature as a fraudster."

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP