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Kazakh Opposition Figure Released From Detention In Spain


A Kazakh opposition figure who faces possible extradition from Spain has been released from detention.

Muratbek Ketebaev was arrested at a Madrid hotel on December 27 on an Interpol warrant issued at the request of the Kazakh government.

Ketebayev's wife, Irina Petrusheva, told RFE/RL that he was released on January 15 and was not required to pay bail.

But he still awaits an extradition hearing and cannot leave the county.

Ketebaev, a co-founder of the opposition party Algha (Forward), fled Kazakhstan in 2011 amid rising pressure on government critics. He was granted refugee status in Poland in 2013.

Kazakhstan has charged him in absentia with ties to violence in the town of Zhanaozen in 2011 and an alleged plan for a terror attack in Almaty the following year. Ketebaev denies the charges.

Ketebaev is a former associate of Mukhtar Ablyazov, a billionaire Kazakh opposition supporter who is currently appealing a French ruling on his extradition to Russia to face embezzlement charges.

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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Radio Azattyq has been an important source of information for people in Kazakhstan for decades. In 2009, Azattyq won the prestigious 2009 Online Journalism Award for "standing in defense of citizen’s rights to seek and receive information."

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