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Kazakhstan Accuses Russian Nationalist Of Inciting Hatred


An alleged Russian associate of Kazakh tycoon Mukhtar Ablyazov, who is in custody in France, is wanted in Kazakhstan on suspicion of "inciting ethnic hatred."

Kazakh prosecutor-general's office officials told RFE/RL on November 18 that an investigation has been launched against Aleksandr Potkin, also known as Aleksandr Belov, a Russian citizen and a former leader of the anti-immigrant Movement Against Illegal Migration in Russia.

Potkin was arrested in Moscow last month and accused of helping to launder money stolen from Almaty-based BTA bank.

BTA's former chief, Ablyazov, is wanted by Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine on suspicion of embezzling some $5 billion.

Ablyazov, a government opponent and former minister who was imprisoned in 2002 but later pardoned by President Nursultan Nazarbaev, was arrested on the French Riviera in July 2013 after months on the run.

A French court authorized Ablyazov's extradition last month, and he has appealed the decision.

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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Radio Azattyq has been an important source of information for people in Kazakhstan for decades. In 2009, Azattyq won the prestigious 2009 Online Journalism Award for "standing in defense of citizen’s rights to seek and receive information."

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