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Ukraine prepares paperwork for former banker’s extradition from France

August 02, 2013, 14:49 UTC+3
Ablyazov was detained in southern France on July 31
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Photo ITAR-TASS

Photo ITAR-TASS

KIEV, August 2 (Itar-Tass) - Kiev’s branch of the Ukrainian Investigative Committee prepares necessary documents for extradition from France of former CEO of BTA Bank, Mukhtar Ablyazov, who was detained in France, Ukrainian law enforcement authorities said on Friday.

“That very authority / Kiev’s branch of the Ukrainian Investigative Committee / has been dealing with Ablyazov’s case since 2010,” the source said. “As soon as they collect a set of documents for the extradition, which will contain clear answers to clear questions - what, where, when, - the package will go to the Prosecutor General’s Office, which will be dealing directly with the extradition.”

On Thursday, Ukraine’s bureau of Interpol confirmed they would be working on Mukhtar Ablyazov’s extradition.

“We put him on the wanted list back on January 4, 2011,” a source at the Ukrainian bureau said, though refusing to forecast when the required documents may be collected. The documents will be studied by France’s court. The source is sure the very extradition process “will not take much time.”

Ablyazov was detained in southern France on July 31. Russia and Kazakhstan are also working on his extradition. Ablyazov ran BTA Bank from 2005 to 2009, when he was removed from office and accused of fraud. In February 2009 he fled to Great Britain to find a shelter there, but later fled after the High Court of London ruled to sentence him to 22 months in prison for disrespect of the court, the press service specified.

The court of French Aix-en-Provence said on Thursday that the arrested Kazakh businessman may be extradited upon a request from Ukraine or Russia, and not Kazakhstan.

“France has no agreement on extradition with Kazakhstan. At the same time extradition to Ukraine or Russia is possible if the court rules this,” a court representative said. At the present time it considers a request from Ukraine, where the Ablyazov-led BTA Bank was making operations.

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