Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Letta vows to get to bottom of Kazakh deportation

English
© ANSA

(By Christopher Livesay)
Rome, July 15 - Opposition parties on Monday called
for the resignation of Interior Minister and Deputy Premier
Angelino Alfano over the deportation of the wife and daughter of
prominent Kazakh dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov, while the premier
assured that justice would soon be served.
"Those responsible will have to answer for their mistake,"
Premier Enrico Letta told the Italian daily Il Corriere della
Sera.
Alma Shalabayeva and her six-year-old girl were taken into
custody by police after an overnight blitz in Rome, handed over
to Kazakh officials and put on a plane May 31, something cabinet
members deny knowing about until after the fact.
Handing over relatives of a wanted political dissident to a
government with a questionable human-rights record has sparked
an outcry, mainly from the left-wing SEL party and the
anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), while lucrative energy
contracts between the oil-rich country and Italy have led many
to question the motive behind the deportations.
Sights have centered on Alfano, both for his ministry's
role as the head of the national police force and as secretary
of the center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party of three-time
premier Silvio Berlusconi, who midwifed energy deals with
Kazakhstan during his stints as premier.
"Alfano's resignation would be an act of institutional
hygiene," said SEL leader and Puglia Governor Nichi Vendola as
his party and the M5S submitted a motion of no-confidence in
Alfano to the Lower House and Senate.
Alfano, who will answer to parliament on the affair on
Thursday, said over the weekend he was uninformed of the
incident until the Kazakh nationals had already been deported.
He has vowed that "heads will roll" following the
conclusion of an internal review ordered by the premier earlier
this month.
Admitting that mistakes were made, the Italian government
on Friday revoked the deportation orders and said the two could
return to the country that expelled them.
In an 18-page testimony published by the Financial Times,
the Kazakh mother said that she and her daughter were taken by
"gangster-like" men who were not wearing uniforms, but carried
pistols.
"A swarm of 30-35 people burst into the house. Another 20
or so people remained outside. But in total around 50 people
took part in the attack," she said.
"The group continued to shout at me in Italian, I did not
understand what specifically he said. The only thing that I
could make out in this stream of invective was 'Russo bitch!' I
was in shock, I froze and closed my eyes".
On Sunday Rome's police denied mistreating the two.
Shalabayeva and her daughter were held in Rome's Ponte
Galeria immigrant detention center before being taken to
Ciampino airport and put on a private jet with Kazakh diplomats.
According to family and associates in Italy, police raided
the home 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, is an outspoken critic of Kazakh
President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Kazakhstan insists Ablyazov is not a dissident but an
outlaw.
It also says his family is not jailed or under house arrest
but is obligated to stay in the former capital of Almaty while
his wife is under investigation for allegedly illegally
acquiring travel documents - something her layers deny.

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