Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018

Italy 'to respond' after deporting Kazakh dissident's family


Rome, July 9 - The Italian government will soon
answer questions about the deportation of the wife and daughter
of prominent Kazakh dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov, an Italian
Senator said Tuesday.
"I have received assurances from Interior Minister Angelino
Alfano that the government will officially address (the issue)
as soon as possible in order to provide the information
requested," said Luigi Manconi, a Senator with the center-left
Democratic Party (PD), at a Senate press conference.
Premier Enrico Letta on Friday ordered an internal inquiry
into the case of Alma Shalabayeva and her six-year-old daughter,
who last month were taken to Rome's Ciampino airport and put on
a private jet with Kazakh diplomats following a raid by Italian
police on a Rome apartment.
Letta, Foreign Minister Emma Bonino and the Justice
Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri have denied knowing about the
operation until after the fact.
The move to review the handling of the case came amid calls
from the left-wing opposition SEL party "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 were in
search of Ablyazov, a banker linked to a multi-billion-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 raid, but
agents apprehended his wife and daughter instead on charges of
residing in the country illegally, which their lawyers denied
again Tuesday.
"The deportation order is entirely illegitimate, and in
essence an abuse of power," said attorney Riccardo Olivo at a
press conference at the Senate.
In the complex international case, Manconi said that
Italian agents may not have acted alone in the raid.
"There's a document that says an Italian security company
was enlisted, I believe by an Israeli security company, to
surveil the home before the police stormed it," said the
Senator. "I don't have any more details".
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
Italy's SEL party has demanded explanations specifically
from Alfano, who is also the deputy premier and 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.

(photo: Interior Minister and Deputy Premier Angelino Alfano)

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