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Kyrgyz Passport 'Illegally Issued' To Fugitive Kazakh Banker

Mukhtar Ablyazov, an outspoken critic of Kazakh authoritarian leader, fled Kazakhstan in 2009 after his BTA bank was nationalized.
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz authorities are investigating how a Kyrgyz passport was illegally issued under a fake name to fugitive Kazakh tycoon and government critic Mukhtar Ablyazov.

Kyrgyzstan's State Registration Service officials said on June 28 that all the materials regarding the case have been sent to the State Committee for National Security for investigation.

Ablyazov, 50, an outspoken critic of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, fled Kazakhstan for the European Union in 2009 after his BTA bank was nationalized.

Ablyazov is accused of embezzling $6 billion, which he denies.

Earlier this month, a Kazakh court handed prison terms to several people, including two former officials in Kazakhstan's western region of Atyrau, for illegally arranging travel documents for Ablyazov's relatives.

On June 1, Ablyazov's wife, Alma Shalabaeva, and daughter were deported from Italy to Kazakhstan on charges of holding a false passport.