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Kazakhstan Seeks To Expedite Former Official's Extradition From Austria

Rakhat Aliev, former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev
ASTANA -- Kazakhstan says it is ready to provide the Austrian authorities with documents it says prove former presidential son-in-law Rakhat Aliev's involvement in the killing of two Kazakh bankers, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Iliyas Omarov told journalists on July 18 that all documents related to the case will be sent to Vienna as soon as the Austrian authorities request them.

Kazakhstan sent yet another request last month to the Austrian government for Aliev's extradition. Austria has previously rejected two such extradition requests.

In 2007, Austrian officials refused the request because they said Aliev was unlikely to receive a fair trial in Kazakhstan.

In June, Aliev was charged in absentia of involvement in the killings of Nurbank top managers Zholdas Temiraliev and Aibar Khasenov, whose bodies were purportedly found on the outskirts of Almaty in May.

But on June 17, a Viennese court rejected that second request for Aliev's extradition. Aliev's lawyer also said that his client no longer lives in Austria, but in Malta.

In 2008, Aliev and Alnur Musaev -- the former chairman of Kazakhstan's National Security Committee -- were each sentenced in absentia by a Kazakh court to 20 years in prison for "organizing a criminal group, abduction, and preparation for the illegal seizure of power."

The two men, who have been living in self-imposed exile in Europe since 2007, deny the charges.

Aliev, 48, was deputy chairman of Kazakhstan's National Security Committee, deputy foreign minister, and ambassador to Austria and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe at different times in the last 15 years as the powerful husband of President Nursultan Nazarbaev's eldest daughter, Dariga Nazarbaeva.

In 2007, he left for Austria after investigations were launched into his alleged involvement into the disappearance of Temiraliev and Khasenov following a raid on Nurbank offices by law enforcement officials in June of that year and at which Aliev was reportedly present.

The raid was allegedly intended to force them to sell their interests in an Almaty building to the Kazakh government.

Read more in Kazakh here