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Ablyazov Appears Before French Prosecutor

Mukhtar Ablyazov (file photo)
Mukhtar Ablyazov (file photo)
Fugitive Kazakh ex-banker Mukhtar Ablyazov has appeared before French judicial authorities, a day after he was arrested in southern France.

Solange Legras, chief prosecutor at the appeals court in the southeastern town of Aix-en-Provence, told RFE/RL that during the hearing she informed Ablyazov about an extradition request on his name.

Legras told the media there were also extradition requests from Russia and Kazakhstan, but French prosecutors for now were looking into a Ukrainian request.

Ablyazov is wanted by Astana on fraud charges.

He is also sought by Russia and Ukraine in connection with embezzlement charges linked to local branches of a Kazakh bank.

Ablyazov, a vocal critic of President Nursultan Nazarbaev, denies the charges.

Legras said Ablyazov was unlikely to be released on bail.

With reporting by AP
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