Issam and Devincci Hourani. Photo courtesy of challahhuakbar.blogspot.com
Palestinian leaders are suspected of lobbying for Rakhat Aliyev’s relatives, Tengrinews.kz reports.
The Commentator has published an exclusive report about Issam and Devincci Hourani brothers involvement with Palestinian Authority corruption. Issam Hourani is married to Gulshat Aliyeva, a younger sister of Rakhat Aliyev, who is a former Ambassador to Austria, a former high-ranking Kazakhstan official and the ex-husband of Dariga Nazarbayeva, the eldest daughter of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
It became known that the Hourani brothers were working with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ son Yasser Abbas on business deals all over the world, including in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, and Sudan. The information emerged at a hearing in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs this summer.
U.S. intelligence has established that Yasser Abbas worked with Devincci Hourani to pursue deals in Sudan for a company called Caratube International Oil Company (CIOC). It also revealed that the two individuals received help from the Palestinian Authority Ambassador to Sudan to win three oil blocks for CIOC.
Devincci Hourani who is a U.S. citizen owns CIOC. U.S. companies are prohibited by U.S. federal law from engaging with the Sudanese oil industry because the United States have placed sanctions on the Sudanese regime for its extremely poor human rights situation related to the genocide in Darfur. However Hourani chose to break the sanctions on Sudan.
According to The Commentator, Congress was told that the Houranis both received Palestinian diplomatic passports, which according to the U.S. intelligence officials entitle them to travel with immunity. Diplomatic passports are reserved for diplomats and other important officials, such as ministers and heads of security services. Those who do not satisfy these positions can only acquire such a passport directly from the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, raising questions about his role in enabling the illicit deal by granting diplomatic passports to two individuals who are not even Palestinian citizens.
Devincci Hourani is a subject of investigation in Kazakhstan as well. In June 2012 Tengrinews.kz reported that Kazakhstan won an arbitration in Paris against Hourani.
The dispute in Kazakhstan “was related to termination of the contract for exploration and production of hydrocarbons at Caratube field because of violations and failure to perform the contract terms by CIOC company, allegedly owned by Devincci Hourani,” Kazakhstan Justice Ministry said.
Issam Hourani’s marriage to Gulshat Aliyeva, a younger sister of Rakhat Aliyev, helped him navigate his dealings in Kazakhstan. Having secured the backing of the “high-powered” family member, Issam Hourani started accumulating capital in Kazakhstan, involving other family members and partners, including his younger brother Devincci Hourani.
Rakhat Aliyev served as chief of the tax police, deputy foreign affairs minister and head of the Kazakh equivalent of the KGB before he divorced Dariga and fled Kazakhstan. He now lives in Malta with his new wife and is said to be looking for ways to flee to the United States.
Lawyers in Austria and Malta are now mounting a legal challenge against Rakhat Aliyev in the name of the wives of two bankers who were kidnapped and later found dead in Kazakhstan.