Prime Minister: Aliyev would not pass IIP due diligence

Muscat says Kazakh exile stripped of EU passport would not be eligible for Maltese citizenship under IIP rules

Rakhat Aliyev - not a likely candidate for the IIP after yesterday's speech by the Prime Minister
Rakhat Aliyev - not a likely candidate for the IIP after yesterday's speech by the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat yesterday declared in parliament that Kazakh exile Rakhat Aliyev would not be able to procure himself a passport under the Individual Investor Programme.

Speaking in his reply to the speech by Opposition leader Simon Busuttil for Budget 2014, Muscat reacted to news broken by MaltaToday that Aliyev, who lives in Malta and faces criminal investigations on money laundering and even if involvement in a double murder in several EU member states, would not qualify under the IIP.

"The sort of due diligence we will be undertaking for applicants under the IIP would not allow someone like Rakhat Aliyev to get Maltese citizenship," Muscat declared in the House, referring to the citizenship scheme that will sell passports for €650,000.

On Sunday, MaltaToday revealed that Aliyev, former son-in-law of Kazakh dictator Nursultana Nazarbayev, had had his Austrian passport repealed.

The documents, which include correspondence between an Austrian law enforcement agency in Vienna and the Cypriot money laundering unit M.O.K.A.S, state in no uncertain terms that the Kazakh exile was "deprived of an aliens' passport by a decision of the Austrian ministry for the interior, dated 2 April 2013".

The request for information came after a suspicious financial transaction raised the alarm in Cyprus.

Aliyev, 51, has lived in Malta since 2010, availing himself of the right to move freely across the eurozone through his marriage to a naturalized Austrian citizen, Elnara Shorazova. He lives in Malta under the assumed surname of Shoraz.

But he is also being investigated by Austrian and German law enforcement agencies over charges of murder and money laundering amongst other accusations - charges he denies.

MaltaToday has also seen a June 2013 decision of an Austrian ombudsman - the Volksanwaltschaft - that found that the issuance of this passport in 2009, was "the subject of maladministration by the federal ministry of the interior."

MaltaToday has not established whether Aliyev is in possession of either a Kazakh passport, or another form of citizenship, and it is not being suggested that his stay in Malta is unlawful.

Sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment in absentia by a Kazakh court over the murder of two bankers in 2008, Aliyev was stripped of his diplomatic immunity during his time as an ambassador to the OSCE in Vienna. But Austria refused to extradite him to Kazakhstan, where he cannot be guaranteed a fair trial, and instead opened its own investigation in the Nurbank murders.

Two Kazakh nationals have also requested that the police investigate their accusations of torture against Aliyev. But despite repeated requests, the Maltese police have so far refused to investigate complaints by former bodyguards Satzhev Ibraev and Pyotr Afanasenko. The two men 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 Aliyev's father-in-law, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

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@Buz, an Austrian passport gave him the free movement a Maltese one would in the EU, geddit?
I want to know in whose pocket that €500,000 finished.
Can we have a statement regarding who gave this person permit to Live in Malta and on which grounds?
This is a 007 story! It shows that even great countries are fooled by criminals and the corrupt. However this story is an exception. Exceptions make the rule. They are not the rule!
Mur obsor li 'is-shadow minister' ta Simon Busutill-Tonio Fenech- tghidtx kemm fahhar lil Henley and Partners li Simon tghidtx kemm qed imaqdar! Mur obsor li 7000 persuni inghataw ic-cittadinaza Maltija f'dawn l-ahhar snin: inkluzi 1000 persuna qabel l-elezzjoni! Mor obsor, li kontra dak li qal Simon l- Attorney General, qed jaghti ragun lil Prim Ministru li cittadinanza ma tistax tnehhijja imhabba pika politika! Nahseb, frankament li illum, aktar minn qatt qabel in-Nazzjonalisit iridu ibidlu lil Simon Busutill biex forsi jergghu isiru kredibli u mela jigi jghidilna kemm budget tajjeb imbaghad jaghmel saghtejn jghid kontra minn ghamel dan il-budget tajjeb!