Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Meeting held by Italian govt members over Kazakh deportation

English
© ANSA

Rome, July 12 - A meeting was held among top
Italian government members in Rome on Friday to discuss the
deportation of the wife and daughter of prominent Kazakh
dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov from Italy in June.
Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, Premier Enrico Letta,
Foreign Minister Emma Bonino and Justice Minister Anna Maria
Cancellieri held talks to discuss 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, Bonino and 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
legislature.
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 Angelino Alfano and Premier Enrico
Letta)

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