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13 Aug, 2007 07:31

Kazakh officials press for ex- ambassador's extradition

Kazakh officials are pressing for the extradition from Austria of the country's ex-ambassador, Rakhat Aliyev, who was arrested in Vienna over two months ago. He was charged with the alleged kidnappings of two managers of a Kazakh bank he used to control.

Later a court in Vienna rejected a request from Kazakhstan to extradite Aliyev. But the Kazakh Interior Ministry says it still sees a chance of extradition.

The Kazakh Interior Ministry is surprised by the Austrian court's decision not to extradite Aliyev.

“We wonder how the court could come to such a decision after hearing only one party – without considering any arguments from the Kazakh law-enforcement authorities. Local lawyers hired by Kazakhstan weren't even informed about the time and place of the hearing and thus weren't able to take part. Kazakhstan is ready to use any lawful means to secure the extradition of its citizen,” noted Bagdat Kozhakhmetov, Kazakh Interior Ministry spokesman.