MOSCOW, November 8 (RAPSI) – National Court of Spain confirmed its decision to extradite the chief of security of the former BTA Bank CEO Mukhtar Ablyazov, Aleksandr Pavlov, EFE agency reports on Friday.
The Spanish court decided to extradite Pavlov in June on a request from Kazakhstan. Pavlov has been in Spain since December 2012. Pavlov appealed the decision, claiming that Ablyazov’s prosecution had been political, and that Pavlov may share the same fate.
Pavlov is accused of having embezzled EUR22.5 million and in connection with terrorism, and is a known associate and security chief of BTA Bank’s ex-CEO Mukhtar Ablyazov
Kazakh authorities say that a series of terror attacks was prevented in Almaty in March 2012, and that Pavlov who had been evading justice since 2009 was behind it. Pavlov has headed Ablyazov’s personal security since 2005, and ran personal errands for him. The Prosecutor General’s Office reports that Pavlov aided his boss in embezzling money from the bank, and helped to evacuate Ablyazov’s personal archives and the bank’s computer hard drives, after which he fled to UK.
Ablyazov was detained on July 31 near Cannes, France. Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine are all seeking the extradition of the fugitive banker. Kazakhstan and France do not have an extradition treaty and extradition to Russia may be hindered for procedural reasons, so Ukraine remains the choice destination.
Kazakhstan is seeking the extradition of Ablyazov, who fled to the UK after the Kazakh government acquired a stake in BTA in 2009 and the bank came under the control of its sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna. Ablyazov was granted political asylum in Britain in 2011.
In 2009, BTA filed a suit on the alleged embezzlement of $6 billion by its former leadership in the London High Court. In May 2011, the court accepted the bank's complaints against former board chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov. In February 2012, it ruled in absentia to detain Ablyazov for 22 months for contempt of court and deprived him of the right to defend his interests.
He maintains that the charges against him are politically motivated.