Aliyev case | Prime Minister invites witnesses on money laundering to come forward

Green party writes to Prime Minister over hosting of former Kazakh diplomat investigated in Austria over double murder.

Rakhat Aliyev
Rakhat Aliyev

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi has told green party spokesperson on EU and international affairs Arnold Cassola that he was inviting anybody with proof of illegal behavior concerning former Kazakh diplomat Rakhat Aliyev, to present it to police investigators.

In a letter to Gonzi, Cassola asked Gonzi as minister for home affairs about what measures were being taken on allegations against Aliyev, the former son-in-law of Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev, on accusations of crimes against humanity.

Aliyev is accused by former Kazakh prime minister Akezhan Kazhageldin of having tortured his two bodyguards in a bid to force a confession implicating him in an alleged coup against Nazarbayev.

Aliyev has since 2008 lived in Austria, where he served as Kazakhstan's ambassador, but he was forced to divorce his wife after he was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment in absentia by a Kazakh court, for the murder of two Nurbank bankers.

He has been living in Malta since 2010 and is married to an Austrian citizen.

Cassola told Gonzi in his letter that Aliyev was alleged by his accusers of using Malta as a base for money laundering.

In his reply, Gonzi told Cassola that Aliyev was married to an EU citizen and enjoyed free movement across EU member states.

He also added that, after consulting with the Attorney General, that Malta did not have any jurisdiction to investigate the allegations of torture and crimes against humanity Aliyev is accused of. "This position is currently being challenged in a court of magistrates," Gonzi said, referring to an action brought by Kazhageldin in the Maltese courts.

Gonzi also told Cassola that all allegations of money-laundering against Aliyev should be taken to the police for investigation.

Malta's financial intelligence analysis unit, which is presided by the Attorney General, has already received information on money-laundering from Austrian lawyers representing the widows of the murdered Nurbank bankers.

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And what has the FIAU done about it? Anyway, shouldn't all this sleuthing been done much before, when this person applied for a permanent residence permit and Interpol advised local police against it? Why hasn't Gonzi enacted the Whistleblowers proposed legislation (he had at least 5 years in which to do it) if he were seriously looking for answers?