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Kazakh Court Hands Down Sentences For Ablyazov Passports

Mukhtar Ablyazov
ATYRAU, Kazakhstan -- A court in Kazakhstan's western city of Atyrau has sentenced several people for illegally arranging travel documents for a fugitive banker's relatives.

Two former migration officers were sentenced to seven and nine years in jail, with one also being fined $22,000 for accepting bribes to arrange the documents for Mukhtar Ablyazov's wife, three children, and four other relatives.

One more defendant was sentenced to two years in jail.

On June 1, Ablyazov's wife, Alma Shalabaeva, and daughter were deported from Italy to Kazakhstan.

Reports say Shalabaeva was deported for holding a false passport.

Ablyazov says sending his wife back to Kazakhstan puts her life in danger.

Ablyazov, 50, an outspoken critic of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, fled Kazakhstan for the European Union in 2009.
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