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Top Prosecutor Says Russia Won't Extradite Ablyazov

Dissident Kazakh oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov (file photo)
Dissident Kazakh oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov (file photo)

ASTANA -- Russia's Prosecutor-General Yury Chaika has said Moscow will not extradite Kazakh tycoon and opposition leader Mukhtar Ablyazov to Kazakhstan if France sends him to Russia.

Chaika said in Astana on November 19 that, if France extradites Ablyazov to Moscow, he will be charged and tried in Russia without being handed over to Kazakhstan.

The French government approved Ablyazov's extradition to Russia in September. Ablyazov appealed the decision.

Ablyazov, former head of Kazakhstan's BTA bank, is wanted by Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine for the alleged embezzlement of some $5 billion.

The Kazakh tycoon, who was arrested in the French Riviera in 2013 after months on the run, says the charges against him are politically motivated.

Kazakhstan has no extradition treaty with France, but has such deals with Russia and Ukraine.

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