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French court starts Ablyazov's extradition hearing

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Aix-en-Provence court of France is hearing the extradition case of the former head of Kazakhstan's BTA Bank Mukhtar Ablyazov, RIA Novosti reports.

The hearing of the case was initially scheduled for September, but was later postponed until December. 

Ablyazov was arrested on an extradition request from Ukraine in the south of France near Cannes by French special forces on July 31. Ukraine, whose extradition request is being considered in the first place, submitted all the extradition documents in the French and Ukrainian languages, neither of which Ablyazov understands, and he requested a translation, so the hearing was rescheduled. 

Ablyazov is wanted in Kazakhstan for embezzlement, fraud, money laundering and siphoning off BTA bank's funds through dummy companies and illegal financial schemes. He may face 13-year of prison with confiscation of property in Kazakhstan. 

At present Aix-en-Provence court is deciding on the extradition of Ablyazov. Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine are demanding his extradition. Ukraine already submitted to the French court all the necessary documents with its extradition request. 

The defense of the former head of BTA bank has repeatedly filed motions requesting Ablyazov’s release on bail. But the court rejected both motions and Ablyazov remains in custody.

December 5 2013, 15:37

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