Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018
ROME

Letta orders probe into deporting Kazakh dissident's family

English
© ANSA

Rome, July 5 - Italian Premier Enrico Letta on
Friday ordered an internal inquiry into the deportation of the
wife and daughter of prominent Kazakh dissident Mukhtar
Ablyazov.
According to a statement from his office, the review is
meant to "reveal any possible critical issues" in the handling
of Alma Shalabayeva and her six-year-old daughter.
Last month the two were brought to Rome's Ciampino airport
and put on a private jet with Kazakh diplomats - something the
Italian premier, the foreign minister and the justice minister
have denied knowing about until after the fact.
Letta's move to review the handling of the case came after
MP Alessandro Zan from the left-wing opposition SEL party called
on the government Friday "to take all measures possible to
guarantee the safety of Shalabayeva and her daughter" now in
Kazakhstan, which Human Rights Watch has criticised for its
"deteriorating" human rights record.
According to family and associates in Italy, police raided
a home in Rome last month in search of Ablyazov, a banker linked
to a multibillion-euro embezzlement case at his BTA Bank.
Ablyazov, who has been a fugitive in Kazakhstan since 2009
and in and out of hiding, was not found in the search, but
agents apprehended his wife and daughter instead on charges of
residing in the country illegally, which their lawyers denied.
Ablyazov, an outspoken critic of autocratic Kazakh
President Nursultan Nazarbayev, helped found the now defunct
Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DCK), an opposition political
movement that campaigned for breaking up the concentration of
power in the executive, an independent judiciary, and a strong
legislature.
Italy's SEL party has also demanded explanations from
Angelino Alfano, the interior minister and deputy premier who is
also the secretary of the center-right People of Freedom (PdL)
party of three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi.
Critics have pointed out that during his stints as premier
Berlusconi helped foster lucrative commercial ties between Italy
and oil-rich Kazakhstan.

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