Kazakh president's son-in-law released on bail in Austria
( RIA Novosti) - The son-in-law of Kazakhstan's president, wanted in his country on abduction charges, was released on bail in Vienna, but will remain in Austria to face extradition proceedings.
Rakhat Aliyev, a former ambassador in Vienna for the Central Asian country, is accused by Kazakhstan of abducting two top executives of a bank he controls, and of running an organized crime network.
A spokesman for Austria's top prosecutors, Gerhard Jarosch, said on Sunday: "He has been released after payment of one million euros [$1.3 million] bail but must remain to face an extradition."
Austrian media said a decision on his extradition would be made later this month, but the legal situation was uncertain due to the lack of a bilateral extradition agreement.
Aliyev, who is married to President Nursultan Nazarbayev's eldest daughter Dariga, earlier announced he would run against the incumbent leader at elections in 2012. He insisted in an interview with Austrian weekly Profil that the charges against him were trumped up on orders from Nazarbayev, and that if he was extradited to the ex-Soviet nation, his life would be in danger.
" Austria must not turn me over to a system where my life and the lives of my family are endangered," he told Profil.
The prosecutor's spokesman declined to specify where the former Kazakh official is now staying. Aliyev was admitted to hospital soon after his arrest.
Aliyev was fired as ambassador on May 26 after publicly accusing Kazakhstan's president, who has led the oil-rich nation for 17 years, of totalitarian rule. A few days earlier, the president had signed a constitutional amendment removing restrictions on the number of consecutive terms he can serve, and received parliament's backing. The law will not apply to subsequent leaders.
The president's son-in-law has major business interests in Kazakhstan, and previously served as deputy foreign minister, and as head of the tax police.
Kazakhstan is also demanding that Austria hand over another six people, including Kazakh embassy staff and close friends of Alieyev. According to an Austrian law enforcement spokesman, the former ambassador has not yet applied for asylum.