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Fugitive Kazakh Banker Appeals French Extradition Ruling

Mukhtar Ablyazov
A lawyer for fugitive Kazakh banker Mukhtar Ablyazov says he has appealed a French decision allowing his extradition.

A court in the southern French city of Aix-en-Provence last week ruled that Ablyazov could be extradited to either Russia or Ukraine.

Lawyer Bruno Rebstock told RFE/RL on January 16 that he had appealed against the ruling this week.

He said Russia and Ukraine offered no guarantee in terms of the rule of law, and cited the risk Ablyazov would eventually end up in Kazakhstan.

Ablyazov has been in French custody since his arrest in July. Kazakhstan has no extradition treaty with France.

However, both Ukraine and Russia have requested his extradition.

Ablyazov is accused of stealing up to $6 billion while running the Kazakh BTA Bank. He insists the accusations are politically motivated.
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