Martedì, 25 Settembre 2018
ROME

Kazakh dissident's family may return to Italy

English
© ANSA

(By Christopher Livesay)
Rome, July 23 - The Kazakh government said Tuesday
the wife and daughter of a political opposition figure seized in
Rome and repatriated to Kazakhstan in late May could return to
Italy given financial and other guarantees.
In response to a series of questions daily newspaper
Corriere della Sera put to Kazakh Premier Serik Akhmetov
regarding the expulsion of Alma Shalabayeva, wife of Kazakh
oligarch and touted dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov, and their
six-year-old daughter, the Kazakh foreign ministry delivered
answers saying "a deposit" and "guarantees from Rome" would be
needed for Shalabayeva's return.
Shalabayeva and her daughter were rushed onto a private jet
with Kazakh diplomats and flown back to a country whose
human-rights record has been questioned by several
organisations.
Italy has since repealed her expulsion order, but the
Kazakh government has said Shalabayeva is under investigation
regarding possible bribes paid to immigration and justice
officials to create false passports for herself and her
daughter.
"From a legal point of view, one cannot exclude the
possibility of the return of Alma Shalabayeva and her daughter
in Italy. For this, the woman must appeal to the competent
Kazakh entity with a request for free movement abroad, backed by
a deposit. In this (particular) case, the Republic of Kazakhstan
would also require guarantees from Rome (that she would be
repatriated again in case of criminal trial)," the ministry
said.
"With the July 4 sentence, the guilty were condemned" and
thus Shalabayeva was temporarily placed under movement
restrictions.
"She is completely free to move in the city of Almaty and
to communicate with whom she wants," the statement went on.
"She is absolutely not placed under torture, or cruel,
inhuman, humiliating treatment, or punishment".
As for the investigation, "more time is needed to have
answers to international requests", it said.
Italy's foreign minister said on Monday there "were still
some dark areas" in the deportation case, suggesting resolution
in the embarrassing affair is still far off for Italy's fragile
and divided left-right administration.
"Other offices need to shed light on them," added Emma
Bonino as she entered a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs
Council in Brussels.
The Italian Senate on Friday rejected a no-confidence
motion in Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano
over the expulsion of Shalabayeva and her daughter.
Alfano's chief of staff at the interior ministry resigned
over the scandal last week.
Premier Enrico Letta's government would have been in peril
if Alfano had failed to pass the confidence test.
Before the vote, Letta called on Senators to reject the
motion, saying it was "clear" Alfano had nothing to do with the
expulsion following the results of an internal investigation.
He argued that rejecting the motion was a vote of
confidence in his executive, which is based on an unprecedented
alliance between his centre-left Democratic Party, the biggest
group in parliament, and their long-standing bitter rivals in
the PdL.
Letta told the Senate that his government was not
underestimating the importance of the case, saying it was a
cause for "embarrassment and disrepute" for Italy.
But he stressed that no one in the higher levels of
government knew about the deportation until after it took place
and stressed that the administration had behaved with "total
transparency".
Extra attention has centered around Alfano because he is
also the secretary of the centre-right People of Freedom (PdL)
party of Silvio Berlusconi, who during his stints as premier
helped foster lucrative commercial ties between Italy and
energy-rich Kazakhstan.
Sights have also landed on Foreign Minister Emma Bonino for
not intervening sooner.
On Tuesday sources at the foreign ministry said she "had
never considered resigning" over the case despite calls from the
opposition to do so.

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