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Former Kazakh Presidential Son-In-Law Suspected In High-Profile Murder Case

Rakhat Aliev, the former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev and former senior official in the Kazakh government, in Vienna in 2008
Rakhat Aliev, the former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, is suspected of ordering a high-profile political murder in 2006.

Kazakhstan's deputy prosecutor-general, Andrei Kravchenko, announced on December 20 that the probe into the murder of opposition leader Altynbek Sarsenbaiuly had been reopened after prosecutors obtained polygraph evidence from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) proving that Aliev ordered the hit.

"In accordance with a request of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the new data has been checked by a specially established investigative group consisting of employees of the Prosecutor-General's Office, the Committee for National Security, and the Interior Ministry of the Republic of Kazakhstan," Kravchenko said.

"In accordance with the request of the prosecutor-general of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Federal Bureau of Investigations of the United States of America took part in the investigation."

U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan John Ordway, who appeared with Kravchenko at the press conference, said the FBI findings had confirmed the Kazakh investigators' conclusions.

"The steps taken by the American FBI assisting in this investigation led to results consistent with the findings of the [prosecutor-general] of Kazakhstan. I have met and known Altynbek Sarsenbaiuly and I am extremely pleased that this investigation is complete. I hope the results of this investigation will finally give some peace to the families of those murdered."

Sarsenbaiuly and his two associates were found shot to death execution-style in February 2006 near Almaty.

The former chief of Kazakhstan's parliament apparatus, Erzhan Otembaev, was sentenced to 20 years in jail for ordering the murder. Several members of Kazakhstan's elite law enforcement unit were sentenced to long prison terms and their leader, Rustam Ibragimov, received a life sentence for implementing the murder.

Aliev, who was deputy chief of Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee at the time of the murder, has been living in self-imposed exile in Europe since 2007.

He was sentenced to 40 years in jail in absentia in 2008 in two separate cases: one linked to a high-profile murder of two Kazakh bankers, and the second to preparations for a coup d'etat. He had been married to Nazarbaev's eldest daughter, Darigha.
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