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Kazakhstan Subpoenas Former Almaty Mayor Via Media

Former Almaty Mayor Viktor Khrapunov (file photo)

Kazakhstan’s National Anticorruption Bureau has subpoenaed the former mayor of the city of Almaty, Viktor Khrapunov, and his wife Leila via print media.

The two are accused of fraud, racketeering, and embezzlement. Prosecutors say Khrapunov along with his wife, stole $300 million while being mayor of Kazakhstan's largest city from 1997 to 2004.

The bureau said on February 15 that because the couple has been living in self-imposed exile in Switzerland for years, they were informed about being subpoenaed for questioning via Kazakh and Swiss newspapers.

After leaving the Almaty mayoral post, Khrapunov was appointed governor of the East Kazakhstan region. He was sacked from that post in 2007 and served for a short time as emergency situations minister.

Khrapunov and his family moved to Switzerland in 2007 in the wake of a scandal surrounding land parcels allegedly distributed illegally by him during his tenure as mayor of Almaty.

Khrapunov has rejected all charges against him and his wife, saying they are politically motivated.

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