Mukhtar Ablyazov sentenced to life in absentia

Scandalous banker sentenced in Kazakhstan.
In Kazakhstan, sentenced in a case against the former owner of the once largest private BTA bank in this country, Mukhtar Ablyazov. The banker was accused of organizing the murder of his former business partner - the head of BTA-Bank Yerzhan Tatishev. Mukhtar Ablyazov received a life sentence. The process was by correspondence, since the financier recently resides in France, which refused to extradite him.

The specialized inter-district court of the Zhambyl region in absentia examined the case against the former main owner and head of BTA-Bank Mukhtar Ablyazov. He was charged with organizing the "intentional infliction of death in a conspiracy of persons." It is about the murder of the former business partner Mukhtar Ablyazov - ex-shareholder and chairman of the board of BTA-Bank Yerzhan Tatishev. The latter died on December 19, 2004 in the Zhambyl oblast, when he was hunting with a group of wolf buddies. Initially, the state of emergency was considered an accident.

According to the materials of the case, while driving, Yerzhan Tatishev, who was sitting behind the wheel, passed a gun to the backseat of Muratkhan Tokmadi, which spontaneously fired when the car jumped on a hummock.

The bullet hit the head, the banker died on the spot. Muratkhan Tokmadi in 2005 was conditionally sentenced to two years for "negligent homicide." However, in 2017, Muratkhan Tokmadi, who is considered the leader of the organized crime group “Deputies Corps” in Kazakhstan, arrested and convicted by the court for extortion, confessed that the murder of Yerzhan Tatishev in 2004 had been ordered by Mukhtar Ablyazov. One of the reasons for the frankness of Muratkhan Tokmadi, as alleged during the court sessions, was a diary found during a search in the criminal case of extortion, in which he shared his thoughts on the situation with Yerzhan Tatishev. Based on the confession, the investigation was reopened. In March of this year, Muratkhan Tokmadi was sentenced to 10.5 years for this murder.

On August 17 of this year, the General Prosecutor's Office of Kazakhstan charged Mukhtar Ablyazov with organizing premeditated murder. According to the official charge, Mukhtar Ablyazov ordered the murder of Yerzhan Tatishev for $ 4 million in connection with the struggle between them for control of BTA-bank.

During the court hearings, about 60 witnesses were questioned, including the former head of the National Security Committee (NSC) of Kazakhstan, Nartai Dutbayev, who is in custody on charges of treason. He confirmed that, at the request of Mukhtar Ablyazov, he had ordered to wire the phones of Yerzhan Tatishev. “Before Tatishev’s death, they had disagreements on the issue of division of property. At least from the side of Ablyazov, the National Security Committee and other sources received information that negotiations were taking place between them and Ablyazov believes that Tatishev, while Ablyazov was in prison, illegally washed his business and seized his shares in the bank, said during the trial Nartai Dutbaev. Ablyazov and Tatishev could not find a common language about the joint business. Somewhere in 2004, in the middle of the year, Ablyazov asked us to help him with information regarding Tatishev, so that he would be more successful in negotiating the return of his assets. Tatishev's cell phone was put on the audition. The information received as a result of the audition was transmitted to Ablyazov. But this was general information, something that Tatishev could trust in telephone conversations. ”

Another witness, a friend of Yerzhan Tatishev, Yerlan Ayupov, told the court that, according to his information, “Ablyazov himself suggested that Tatishev buy out shares, he had to gradually pay about $ 300 million. The parties then came to an agreement. But after Ablyazov was released from prison, he insisted on the market value of the bank at that time, with which Tatishev did not agree. ”

Confirmed his previous testimony and Muratkhan Tokmadi. “This was a deliberate shot at the request of Ablyazov,” Muratkhan Tokmadi said during the court hearing. According to him, Ablyazov "promised $ 4 million, if all goes well, there were no guarantees." “In the fall of 2003, they brought me a sports bag, there was $ 2 million. I spent the money to repay the loan - about 180 million tenge,” Muratkhan Tokmadi said at the hearing.

As a result, the court recognized the version of the investigation as proved and sentenced Mukhtar Ablyazov in absentia to life imprisonment.

After the death of Yerzhan Tatishev, Mukhtar Ablyazov regained control of the bank, but lost it in 2009, after the nationalization of a credit institution conducted by the government of Kazakhstan. The reason for the nationalization was the pre-bankruptcy state of the bank, which accounted for about 25% of the entire payment system of the country. After nationalization, Mukhtar Ablyazov emigrated from Kazakhstan and received political asylum in the UK in 2010. In June 2017, Mukhtar Ablyazov in Kazakhstan was convicted in absentia for 20 years in a case of embezzlement in BTA Bank. He is on the international wanted list and was detained in France in 2013. Then his extradition was sought by Kazakhstan, which accuses the banker of embezzling and withdrawing $ 7.5 billion from the country, Russia, where he was accused of $ 5 billion fraud, and Ukraine with claims of $ 400 million. Despite the fact that the French authorities decided to extradite the fugitive Kazakh oligarch to Russia, the State Council of this country later reversed this decision, and Ablyazov was released from custody.