New Government in Austria uncomfortable with Aliyev
Vienna, 27.12.08---ETG--- After the collapse of the Austrian Government under Chancellor Gusenbauer and the early elections with a new government the new political leadership at the Danube would like to reassess the case of R. Aliyev, who was convicted in absentia in 2007 for a long-term sentence by a Kazakh Court of a variety of charges, including kidnapping and foundation of a criminal organization. Although Kazakh authorities asked for the extradition of the former Kazakh Ambassador in Austria in 2007, a Vienna court turned down Astana's extradition request for Aliyev, saying he could not expect a fair Kazakh trial. Meanwhile, authorities in Vienna were still discussing the possibility of bringing action against the former son-in-law of the Kazakh President under Austrian law.
Already in the past it became clear that the presence of Aliyev in Austria caused political pain in Vienna. On the one hand time and again news became public concerning the possible participation of Aliyev in criminal actions, on the other hand the bilateral relations between Austria and Kazakhstan suffered, especially as Austria plays an important role in the EU Nabucco project and also in other energy projects between the European Union and Central Asia.
The starting point was made by the new Parliament in Vienna when MP‘s wrote a questionnaire to the Government concerning the legal and political background of A. Mussayev, former Director of the Kazakh Secret Service KNB and close ally of Aliyev, who served as Deputy Chief of the KNB. Mussayev, living in Vienna as well, was also convicted in absentia in 2007, during the same trial which brought Aliyev into trouble.
According to Austrian information sources, which were passed over to ETG, on December 12 high-level officials, representing the Austrian Ministries of the Interior, Justice and Foreign Relations met for the discussion of a solution in the Aliyev case. The new direction of the Foreign and Justice Ministry already formed the opinion that the presence of Aliyev in Austria would mean more damage than benefit for the country. As well, the ETG sources state that the best solution for the Austrian Government would be a voluntary decision by Aliyev leaving Austria to a third country. Without defining a final decision, the officials want to meet again at the beginning of 2009 for finalizing the case.
One explanation for the actions of the Austrian Government might be the fact that a NGO was created in Kazakhstan by A. Kapasheva, whose husband is still missing after he was kidnapped in February 2007.
Kapasheva said that one priority of her new organization, called the Taghdyr (Destiny) Human Rights Foundation, will be the extradition of Rakhat Aliev, who in her view is the person in charge for her husband‘s abduction. Since February 2007 he is missing and his relatives do not know if he is still alive or was killed.
ETG sources also say that a new Western European organization will be founded soon, that together with legal Western bodies and NGO‘s will investigate the Aliyev case and other cases of corruption and criminal actions in Central Asia, which have effect in the EU and the US.