Wednesday, April 11, 2012 -
An Austrian prosecutor is eyeing former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Rakhat Aliyev, over the murder of two Kazakh bankers who disappeared in 2007.
Rakhat Aliyev recently took up residence in the Mediterranean island country of Malta after living in self-imposed exile in Austria.
The Austrian prosecutor Bettina Wallner spent three days questioning Aliyev, the Malta Today news agency reported on Wednesday.
Nazarbayev has called for the extradition of Aliyev to face trial over the deaths of the two financiers after their bodies were found last year in Kazakhstan’s commercial capital Almaty.
The two senior officials of Nurbank, one of the country’s largest lenders, were allegedly kidnapped by its main shareholder Aliyev during a business dispute.
Aliyev, who served as Kazakhstan’s ambassador to Austria, was stripped of his position and immunity by Nazarbayev in 2007, the same year he divorced Nazarbayev’s daughter Dariga.
A Kazakh court subsequently sentenced him to 20 years in jail for money laundering and kidnapping.
In 2008, he was convicted in absentia to 40 years in prison for attempting to overthrow the government.
Aliyev has always claimed the charges were fabricated.
Austria has so far refused to extradite the fugitive owing to Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record.