Kazakhstan seizes assets owned by president's former son-in-law

Kazakhstan's authorities have seized a Soviet-era swimming pool and a regional airport once owned by the exiled former son-in-law of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, state prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Kazakhstan seizes assets owned by president's former son-in-law
In a case that has exposed tensions within Kazakhstan's elite, Rakhat Aliyev fell out with the Kazakh leader last year and fled his homeland, accusing his father-in-law of usurping power in the former Soviet Central Asian state.

Aliyev, one time Nazarbayev ally turned rival, now lives in exile in Austria. He is wanted at home on various criminal charges he calls politically motivated.

On Wednesday, the Prosecutor General's office said it had confiscated a public swimming pool in the financial capital Almaty, an airport in the oil city of Atyrau and a number of other assets that once belonged to Aliyev.

"Everything has been handed over to relevant state bodies," it said in a statement.

A Kazakh court had previously sentenced Aliyev to two separate 20-year prison terms in absentia on charges that included an attempt to overthrow the government, kidnapping senior banking officials and running a criminal gang.

The court ruled that his assets in Kazakhstan should be repossessed by the state.

Aliyev, whose wife Dariga divorced him at the height of the his stand-off with Nazarbayev last year, has denied any wrongdoing. In Austria, a court has ruled against his extradition saying he would not be given a fair trial at home.

Aliyev has said his trouble started after he voiced his intention to run for the presidency in the oil-rich country.

Nazarbayev has ruled Kazakhstan since 1989 and, shortly after his quarrel with Aliyev, signed constitutional amendments allowing him to run for president an unlimited number of times.

Reuters
Last Mod: 07 Mayıs 2008, 17:34
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