Prosecutor's Office denies extradition of Kazakhstan banker detained by special forces soldiers at Moscow City towers

Prosecutor's Office denies extradition of Kazakhstan banker detained by special forces soldiers at Moscow City towers
Zhomart Ertaev

Zhomart Ertaev says his case should be considered political. He received refugee status in Russia.

The well-known banker Zhomart Ertaev is not being extradited to Kazakhstan upon the request of the neighboring country’s authorities. The Prosecutor's Office in Russia has denied extradition of the entrepreneur suspected of swindling upon the application of the Prosecutor's Office in Kazakhstan. Moreover, Ertaev has received refugee status in Russia and is intent upon becoming a Russian citizen.

He reported earlier that he had applied for a residence permit and then at a stated time applied for citizenship in the Russian Federation. As dual citizenship is forbidden, he had to renounce his Kazakhstani citizenship.

It is to be recalled that the investigation’s theory is that Ertaev took part in the embezzlement of $80 million he received as a loan from Bank RBK where he worked as an Adviser to Chairman of the Board of Directors. Ertaev claims he had not embezzled money and 80 million were spent on the portfolio of shares of Almatel company he headed subsequently. Now, to the banker’s view, because Bank RBK faces financial woes, the government is trying to blame the shareholders who allegedly committed embezzlement. The Prosecutor's Office in Kazakhstan accused Ertaev of “swindling on an especially large scale” (item 4 of article 177 of the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan).

Russian law-enforcement authorities detained Zhomart Ertaev on May 13, 2018, at a tower of Moscow City International Business Center. A special battalion of Russia’s State Traffic Safety Inspectorate blocked Ertaev and his entourage’s cars on the road. Moscow’s Presnensky Court denied the remand imprisonment act and put Ertaev under house arrest. Yesterday, in lawyers’ words, Ertaev was released absolutely.

Фото с места задержания Ертаева

Ertaev’s place of detention photo

In June 2018, his spouse Nurgul Ertaeva was also detained in absentia in Kazakhstan's city of Almaty on suspicion of swindling. Moreover, she was put on the international wanted list. In 2015, being a member of Bank RBK’s Board of Directors, Ertaeva could embezzle $7 million.

In Zhomart Ertaev’s words, he is being threatened in his native country and asked to return shares of Alma TV broadcasting Russian TV-channels. In the entrepreneur’s opinion, his case should be considered political - Russia is just being knocked out of Kazakhstan’s market. He also noted that he had already applied for political asylum in the Russian Federation. 

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