Ahead of torture complaint, Aliyev claims Kazakh agents in Malta

Multi-millionaire exile Rakhat Aliyev is now in Greece • Ahead of police challenge to investigate Kazakh on torture allegations against him, Aliyev’s lawyers claim police was assisted by Kazakh secret service in investigations against him

Rakhat Aliyev - next week the Maltese courts will hear a police challenge to have him investigated on torture
Rakhat Aliyev - next week the Maltese courts will hear a police challenge to have him investigated on torture
Bodyguards Satzhan Ibraev and Pyotr Afanasenko (centre and right) claim they were tortured by Aliyev
Bodyguards Satzhan Ibraev and Pyotr Afanasenko (centre and right) claim they were tortured by Aliyev

The Kazakh exile and multimillionaire Rakhat Aliyev, 52, has sent a letter to the Maltese authorities claiming that the Kazakh secret service is assisting the Maltese police, just days ahead of a challenge in the courts, calling on the police to investigate him on accusations of torture.

On Monday, Magistrate Aaron Bugeja will hear a challenge brought against the Commissioner of Police, by the lawyers of plaintiffs Pyotr Afanasenko and Satzhev Ibraev, to investigate Aliyev on accusations of torture.

According to Aliyev’s lawyers, in a letter they sent to the Maltese press, the Kazakh government would have despatched a member of the Kazakh secret service, the KNB’s Lieutenant Colonel Ernar Aimbetov, to “provide legal aid and support for investigations against Dr Aliyev.”

Aliyev, who owns various properties in Malta although he is now living in Greece, claims he has been “observed and followed by an unknown person [in Malta]… it is assumed that the unknown observer is in contact or was even sent by the KNB” – his lawyers said in their letter.

Aliyev recently applied to become a naturalised Cypriot citizen.

“Aliyev and his family has been hunted and threatened by the Kazakh regime and the KNB for years in Austria, and he is forced to defend himself against untruthful accusations by the KNB, to meet the target of kidnapping and eliminating him,” Aliyev’s lawyers said.

The lawyer – Dr Erich Gemeiner for Fidler & Gemeiner lawyers, of Vienna – said his client could filed a complaint in the “Constitutional Court, the European Court of Human Rights and to US courts as well” if the Maltese police do not inform them of the outcome of their investigations.

Aliyev, formerly the deputy head of the KNB, fell out of favour with his father-in-law and Kazakh dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2010, when he was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment in abstentia by a Kazakh court for the murder of two Nurbank bankers.

At the time, he was stripped off of his diplomatic immunity in Austria, forcing him into exile. After divorcing his wife, he subsequently relocated to Malta using his right to free movement in the EU as the husband of a naturalised Austrian citizen, Elnara Shorazova. In Malta, Aliyev went by the name of Rakhat Shoraz.

Aliyev associate in Malta claims he was followed

Aliyev’s lawyers also said in the letter that Aliyev’s representative in Malta, journalist Alexander Narodetsky, had filed a police report claiming that on 4-5 March, he was stopped by two unknown persons claiming that police inspector Raymond Aquilina wanted to speak to him.

They said Narodetsky suspected that “it was just a trap by the Kazakh secret service” and that at a later date, Aquilina told Narodetsky that “he never sent anyone for him.”

Narodetsky is a 1% shareholder in a company owned by his wife Kathleen – Bongu Media Malta – which on 4 March was the subject of a freezing order, as part of the assets owned by Aliyev. The freezing order was issued by the Criminal Court on the assets owned by Aliyev, in the first confirmed action that the embattled millionaire was being investigated over money laundering. Narodestky was once a director of the United States Congress funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Kiev (known as Radio Svoboda), in the Ukraine.

“Mr Narodetsky is scared to death and asks you for protection against the criminal activities by KNB agents,” Aliyev’s lawyers said in the letter to the police.

The lawyers are insisting that the Malese police should have investigated their claims of the KNB agents acting against Aliyev and his associates on Maltese soil.

“The authorities are by law not only forced to start appropriate investigations, to find and hunt suspects who observe and threaten our clients, but also to keep our clients informed and protect their lives…

“Refusing to start any serious investigations could [result] in the corpus delicti of abuse of office – our clients still believe in the Maltese constitutional state, and do not hope that an unlawful collaboration between the KNB and official authorities takes place.”

Investigation
Two Kazakh nationals have made a renewed police challenge, to ask the Maltese law courts to investigate their accusations of torture against Kazakh exile Rakhat Aliyev, who resides in Malta.

Despite repeated requests, the police refused to investigate complaints by former bodyguards Satzhev Ibraev and Pyotr Afanasenko, who claim they were tortured on order of Aliyev in 2001, and personally beaten by him, to extract a false confession that their boss, former prime minister Akezhan Kazageldin, was plotting a coup against dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Their lawyer says that Article 139A of the Criminal Code is clear about what torture is.

“Any public official who, in their official capacity, knowingly inflicts physical or mental pain and suffering for the purpose of obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, is liable to a imprisonment of five to nine years.

“Article 139A was introduced in the Criminal Code in 1990, when Malta ratified the Convention Against Torture which lays an obligation on member states to prosecute torture, even if committed outside Malta. There are no issues of jurisdiction or retroactivity as claimed by the Attorney General in his opposition against the previous complaint.”

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