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French Court Rules Against Kazakh Tycoon's Extradition

Mukhtar Ablyazov is wanted in Kazakhstan.
A court in France has overturned a ruling allowing a Kazakh dissident tycoon to be extradited to Russia.

Russia and Ukraine sought extradition of the former head of BTA Bank, Mukhtar Ablyazov, accusing him of financial misdeeds.

A judge in the southern French city of Aix-en-Provence, where Ablyazov was detained last summer, approved his extradition in January.

Ablyazov's lawyer, Peter Sahlas, said an appeals court overturned that decision on April 9.

Sahlas said Ablyazov would request to be freed while his extradition case goes to review.

Ablyazov is wanted in Kazakhstan for allegedly stealing up to $6 billion while running BTA Bank.

He insists the accusations are politically motivated.

Kazakhstan has no extradition treaty with France, but does with Russia and Ukraine.
Based on reporting by AP and ITAR-TASS