Custody of former BTA Bank head to play into hands of Kazakh authorities

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 16 / Trend E.Kosolapova /

The custody of the former head of BTA Bank will play into the hands of the authorities of Kazakhstan, a member of Trend Expert Council, the chief editor of the Caucasus Bulletin news and analytical agency Alexei Vlasov believes.

"In terms of total information war, which former oligarch waged against Nursultan Nazarbayev, any image blow to one of the richest men in Kazakhstan is a plus for local authorities," Mr Vlasov told Trend on Thursday.

London's High Court on Thursday decided to detain the former head of Kazakhstan's BTA Bank, Mukhtar Ablyazov for contempt of court. Party of the plaintiff motivates this need that the defendant gave false testimony to the court about his equity assets, misled the court about his real estate, and continues to manage the assets under his control, despite the injunction. In English law, these actions are regarded as contempt of court.

Kazakh authorities will be able to use the detention of Ablyazov, who is the enemy number 1 of Akorda and poses the greatest danger to the official Astana after the former son-in-law of Nursultan Nazarbayev Rahat Aliyev and even had a direct relationship to the events in Zhanaozen which struck the prestige and image of the Kazakh authorities in the West.

On December 16, 2011 in Zhanaozen town of Mangistau region during Kazakhstan's Independence Day celebrations at the main square a group of former employees of the oil-producing enterprise "OzenMunayGaz" with the support of hooligan young people started a rioting, accompanied by pogroms, looting, arson and the use of violence against civilians and police officers. As a result of the collision 64 people got wounded, 14 people were killed. Some 125 objects were set on fire, damaged and looted. The damage caused to the state, businesses and individuals, is evaluated at billions of tenge.

Mr Vlasov said the further developments around the events in London are unclear, but it is clear that Mukhtar Ablyazov is nervous.

"Otherwise, he hardly went to such a step as to mislead the court about his property, which is under the English law is just contempt of the court, which became the pretext for his custody," Mr Vlasov said.

The main hearing of the "BTA Bank v. Mukhtar Ablyazov and six respondents" case is expected to take place in late 2012.

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