France extradites Ablyazov to Russia

France extradites Ablyazov to Russia

Prime Minister of France Manuel Valls has decided to extradite the former head of BTA Bank, Mukhtar Ablyazov, to Russia in the absence of signs of political persecution in his case, the Kommersant newspaper reports.

As Vestnik Kavkaza previously reported, the decision on extradition was signed on September 17, but it became known only yesterday, when Ablyazov and his the lawyers were notified.

Valls asked the Russian side to provide Ablyazov, in the case of his detention, with "physical and psychological security" and prevent his extradition to third countries.They mean Kazakhstan and Ukraine, which are also investigating criminal cases against the former banker, the newspaper reminds.

Ablyazov's defense intends to appeal to the Conseil d'Etat and to the ECHR, but these steps are only likely to slow down the process, as the decision of Valls automatically makes extradition irreversible.

The President of the Minchenko Consulting Communication Group, Yevgeny Minchenko, expressed confidence that Russia will comply with the conditions established by France and will not transfer Mukhtar Ablyazov to Kazakhstan.

According to him, the decision on Ablyazov's extradition to Russia was made in accordance with the gravity of his crimes against the country. "Let me remind you that not only Russia and Kazakhstan sent requests, but also Ukraine. The country he caused the most damage received him," he explained.

Kazakh political scientist Pyotr Svoik, in his turn, suggested that France extradited Ablyazov to Russia to compensate their refusal for the supply of Mistral-class helicopter carriers. "I think this is still a political decision. Francois Hollande in a slightly awkward position, he feels sorry for Vladimir Putin. But Ablyazov will certainly appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, where his appeal has a higher chance, because the ECHR is experiencing less inconvenience in relation to the leadership of Russia and can take a different decision easily. In any case, I think that the extradition won't be soon, because the procedure of appeal from Ablyazov takes a long time. The appellate court will not rely on the verdicts, it will start all over again, so that is not a fact that Ablyazov will be extradited to Moscow," he warned.

"Ablyazov's extradition to Russia, not to Kazakhstan, is a compromise. The fact that he will be extradited to Russia satisfies Kazakhstan, because now Astana wants Ablyazov to be completely neutralized," the analyst noted.