Author Topic: Ablyazov in the WikiLeaks cables  (Read 1992 times)

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enrica

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Ablyazov in the WikiLeaks cables
« on: August 03, 2013, 16:58:23 PM »
It seems that the now arrested Kazakh banker Mukhtar Ablyazov is a "very uncomfortable guy in his country"...

We can read and value from the WikiLeaks documents.

This is the full cablegate search engine mentioning "Ablyazov" (61 cables) http://cablegatesearch.net/search.php?q=Ablyazov&qo=0&qc=0&qto=2010-02-28

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Some of these documents are way significative to understand the situation:

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SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  PRESIDENT'S SON-IN-LAW TRIES, BUT FAILS, TO MUTE CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS
 
REF: A) 09 ASTANA 1762
 B) ASTANA 119
 C) 09 ASTANA 1761
 
Classified By: Charge d' Affaires, a.i. Pamela Spratlen:  1.4 (b), (d)
 
¶1. (SBU) SUMMARY:  Timur Kulibayev, the President's influential
son-in-law and Deputy Chairman of the National Welfare Fund Samryk
Kazyna, sued four independent newspapers for publishing articles
alleging that he received major kick-backs from the Chinese for oil
contracts signed in 2003-05.  The court initially sided with
Kulibayev, ordering on February 1 the confiscation of all print runs
that carried the story and placing a ban on any other articles
insulting Kulibayev's honor and dignity.  It reversed its ruling on a
technicality after an outcry from civil society leaders and criticism
from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE)
Representative on Freedom of the Media.  Ousted, self-exiled chairman
of Bank Turam Alem (BTA) bank Mukhtar Ablyazov is the source of the
corruption allegations.
The Financial Police opened an investigation
into Ablyazov's allegations on February 11.  END SUMMARY.
 
KULIBAYEV SUES FOR LIBEL
 
¶2. (SBU) Timur Kulibayev, President Nazarbayev's influential
son-in-law and Deputy Chairman of National Welfare Fund
Samryk-Kazyna, filed a libel suit on February 1 against four
newspapers -- "Respublika," "Golos Respubliki," "Vzglyad," and
"Kursiv" -- after they published a story accusing him of corruption.
An Almaty district court, acting with uncharacteristic swiftness on
the same day, ordered the confiscation of all print runs containing
the story and placed a ban on future stories that "insult the honor
and dignity" of Kulibayev.  The order was immediately delivered to
the four newspapers, as well as to other independent news outlets and
newspaper stalls across the country.
 
ABLYAZOV IS THE SOURCE
 
¶3.  (SBU) The source of the offending story was a letter to media
outlets from Mukhtar Ablyazov, the ousted and self-exiled chairman of
the Bank Turam Alem (BTA) bank who fled the country following
accusations of embezzlement and financial fraud (ref A).  In the
letter, Ablyazov accused Kulibayev of pocketing a portion of the
proceeds from the sale of a government stake in a Kazakhstani oil
company to the China National Petroleum Company (ref B) in 2003.
According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Ablyazov has documents
proving Kulibayev's illegal machinations.  Ablyazov's accusations
appeared in the media at the same time as a story that Dinara
Kulibayeva, Kulibayev's wife and Nazarbayev's daughter, bought a
luxurious villa in Switzerland for a record 74 million Swiss franc
(approximately $68.4).

 
CONDEMNATION FROM CIVIL SOCIETY
¶4.  (SBU) The court order caused an uproar in civil society.  Chief
editors and journalists of the four newspapers held press conferences
condemning the court decision as an attempt to "completely
exterminate independent media in Kazakhstan."  Editor-in-Chief of
independent newspaper "Svoboda Slova," Gulzhan Yergaliyeva, called on
the Supreme Court to reverse "this shameful ruling."  Political
opposition parties also joined in the protests.  The Ak Zhol party --
seen by some as an opposition party closest to the government --
released an unusually harsh statement criticizing "this selective
justice" for "creating a cast of untouchables in Kazakhstan and
further legalizing corruption."  International NGOs Freedom House and
the Committee to Protect Journalists publicly urged the courts to
rescind "the unacceptable gag-order," declaring that "censorship has
no place for the chair of the OSCE."  On February 8, Miklos Haraszti,
the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, released a statement
condemning libel lawsuits in Kazakhstan (as well as Tajikistan and
Hungary) as "dangerous attempts at censorship."
 
JUDICIAL MISTAKE
 
¶5.  (SBU) The first inklings that not all in the government agreed
with the Almaty court ruling appeared on February 8.  The Chair of
the Supreme Court, Musabek Alimbekov, told journalists that the
Almaty judge "may have made a mistake.  Judges are human," he said,
"and humans make mistakes."  Alimbekov noted that any potential
judicial mistake would have to be addressed in a court of higher
instance.  General Prosecutor Kairat Mami also said that his office
was looking into a case of possible judicial malfeasance, based on a
 
ASTANA 00000184  002 OF 002
 
 
complaint from several journalists.
 
GAG-ORDER RESCINDED
 
¶6.  (SBU) On February 9, the court rescinded its own ruling to ban
articles that "insult (Kulibayev's) honor and dignity."  The ruling
was based on a technicality -- the judge ruled that Kulibayev did not
follow proper pre-trial procedures for libel cases when he failed to
ask the newspapers to print a retraction before filing suit.  Civil
society activists greeted the verdict as a temporary victory, but did
not exclude the possibility that the President's powerful son-in-law
will find other ways to squelch the story in independent media.  In
her ruling, the judge said she would consider the plaintiff's demand
for a public apology only if the media outlets refuse to publish a
refutation.
 
MORE TO COME?
 
¶7.  (SBU) Meanwhile, Ablyazov continued his campaign against
Kulibayev.  On February 8, he announced that he sent proof of
Kulibayev's embezzlement to the Prosecutor General's Office, the
parliament, and political parties.  He also claimed to have sent
letters to several leading businessmen in Kazakhstan urging them to
share any information on Kulibayev's wrong-doings, and publicized an
email address ([email protected]) to which people could send
complaints against Kulibayev.  Activists of the Alga opposition party
-- widely believed to be financed by Ablyazov -- made several
attempts to publicly deliver Ablyazov's letter to the parliament in
Astana.  On two separate occasions, the group was detained by the
police for organizing an unsanctioned rally.  On February 11,
Kazakhstan's State Agency for Fighting Economic and Corruption Crimes
(Financial Police) announced that it received Ablyazov's letter and
launched an investigation into the case.
 
¶8.  (C) COMMENT:  Ablyazov's allegations have started a flurry of
guessing games about the state of play in the power games among the
Kazakhstani elite.  Most independent political analysts agree that
Ablyazov must have received the incriminating evidence from a third
party -- either Rakhat Aliyev, Nazarbayev's exiled former son-in-law,
or someone high enough in Kazakhstan's power echelons to have access
to this kind of information.  Some allege that Ablyazov is the front
man for interests in the oil industry that want to diminish
Kulibayev's far-reaching influence in the energy sector.  Others
speculate that this is a power play from one of the rival political
clans (ref C).  All agree, however, that this case is all about power
and control.  It is also an important test of freedom of expression
in Kazakhstan.  The fact that the court rescinded its gag-order is a
positive sign, and here the strong statement from OSCE's Haraszti
certainly played a role.  However, as civil society activists point
out, the judge's ruling leaves open the possibility for Kulibayev to
take further legal action if the newspapers refuse to print a
retraction.  We will continue to watch closely how these power games
play out.  END COMMENT.

 
SPRATLEN

Source/ Full cable: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2010/02/10ASTANA184.html

enrica

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Re: Ablyazov in the WikiLeaks cables
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2013, 17:18:44 PM »
KAZAKHSTAN: U.S. OIL EXECUTIVES DISCUSS CORRUPTION, COMPETITION, AND THE INVESTMENT CLIMATE

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" ...¶6. (U) NOTE: A January 27 Interfax report alleged that former BTA Bank chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov, who fled the country following ASTANA 00000119 002.3 OF 002 accusations of embezzlement and financial fraud, claims that shares of AktobeMunaiGas were sold to the China National Petroleum Corporation illegally, and at half their market value. According to Interfax, Ablyazov sent a letter to several law-enforcement agencies naming a senior government official (reportedly Kulibayev) allegedly responsible for the illegal transaction. Interfax highlighted Ablyazov's allegations that the state's 25% stake in AktobeMunaiGas was sold "at a price far below market value." END NOTE. ... "

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Source/ Full cable: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2010/01/10ASTANA119.html

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SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  ZHOVTIS UNDERSTANDABLY PESSIMISTIC ABOUT REFORM


***********************
* Missing Section 001 *
***********************
 
ASTANA 02260272  002.2 OF 002

" ...this," he continued.  Zhovtis asserted that he fully understands the
motivations behind "the political war" Mukhtar Ablyazov launched
against President Nazarbayev's powerful son-in-law Timur Kulibayev.
"Maybe this is the way to get results," he said.  (NOTE:  Ablyazov,
the ousted former chairman of Bank Turam Alem (BTA) in self-imposed
exile in London, has publicly accused Kulibayev of receiving major
kick-backs from the Chinese for oil contracts signed in 2003-2005
(ref B).  END NOTE.) ..."

***

Source: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2010/02/10AQNA272.html

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SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: MONEY AND POWER


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" ...¶6. (SBU) (NOTE: Fugitive former CEO of BTA bank, Mukhtar Ablyazov, accused of embezzling over $1 billion, recently leaked "documentary evidence" to the international media that China's state companies have bribed Kulibayev over $100 million in recent months for oil deals. END NOTE.)

***

Source: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2010/01/10ASTANA72.html
« Last Edit: August 03, 2013, 17:27:32 PM by isis »

enrica

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Re: Ablyazov in the WikiLeaks cables
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2013, 17:38:49 PM »
More interesting information about a "mediatic war" :

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KAZAKHSTAN:  THE COMPLEXITY OF "OPPOSITION MEDIA"


" ...
¶6.  (SBU) The Ambassador told Makushina he had been surprised a few
days earlier by a "Respublika" article, that drew attention even in
foreign capitals, implying that President Nazarbayev is mentally
weakened by old age and is so out of touch with reality that Prime
Minister Masimov is "manipulating him like a puppet."  The Ambassador
asked if she believes this view.  She replied, a bit umcomfortably,
"It was just an opinion piece.  That's freedom of speech, isn't it?"
 
¶7.  (SBU) COMMENT:  In fact, maybe not.  The "puppet" article and
others like it might be another reason for "Respublika's" harsh
treatment.  It is widely believe that former BTA Chairman Mukhtar
Ablyazov
, self-exiled in London and accused of embezzling over $1
billion from BTA, is "Respublika's" financial godfather.  We have
 
ASTANA 00001616  002 OF 003
 
heard from other sources that Ablyazov, and London-exiled and
super-wealthy former Prime Minister Kazhigeldin planned an autumn
black-propaganda media campaign against the Nazarbayev government in
the run-up to Kazakhstan's 2010 OSCE Chairmanship.  In another
intriguing tid-bit from the roundtable, we heard that the
Moscow-based propaganda guru, Gleb Pavlovsky, and about a half-dozen
other highly-paid "media consultants" were recently in Astana for
meetings with government officials.  END COMMENT. ..."

Source: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/09/09ASTANA1616.html

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KAZAKHSTAN: PRESIDENT'S ADVISOR WARNS OF AN "INFORMATION WAR"


"AN INFORMATION WAR ON KAZAKHSTAN"

¶3. (SBU) In an interview in the widely read daily "Liter" headlined "Yertysbayev: An Information War Has Been Declared Against Kazakhstan," Yertysbayev described the situation in the country as generally stable but claimed that that the nation's rivals, the "runaway billionaires" -- presumably the former Bank Turan Alem (BTA) Chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov and the President's former son-in-law, Rakhat Aliyev -- have begun an "information war" designed to disgrace Kazakhstan in advance of its 2010 OSCE chairmanship. "For three months, public opinion has been indoctrinated to discredit Kazakhstan in the eyes of the world community," he asserted. He railed against the opposition press for comparing the government's anti-corruption investigations with Stalin's repressions of 1937. The fight against corruption is a legitimate attempt to weed out dishonest government officials and lessen the "corruption tax" on citizens in times of economic crisis, he asserted. Yertysbayev also ascribed the growing rumors about making President Nazarbayev President-for-life, which have appeared almost exclusively in opposition media, to this "anti-government" information campaign. He categorically denied that such a project is in the works and generally advised "Liter" readers to stop paying heed to "mass hallucinations" and trust government sources... "

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/08/09ASTANA1439.html
« Last Edit: August 03, 2013, 17:43:44 PM by isis »

enrica

  • Guest
Re: Ablyazov in the WikiLeaks cables
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2013, 18:02:24 PM »
***
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: DEATH OF PROMINENT BANKER SPARKS RUMORS
 
¶1. (SBU) Summary: The December 19 death of Bank TuranAlem
(BTA) president Erzhan Tatishev in a hunting accident has
put the local rumor mill into high gear.  Despite calming
words from representatives of the bank, the second largest
in Kazakhstan, the accident has received a great deal of
media attention and spawned even more speculation.  Three
theories compete as the "true" cause behind the death:
hunting accident; elimination by economic rivals; and
politically-motivated killing.  Controversy, however,
surrounded Tatishev long before the accident, due to his
membership in opposition political party Democratic Choice
of Kazakhstan (DCK) and his ties with exiled DCK leader
Mukhtar Ablyazov.  The results of a criminal investigation,
standard procedure in such deaths, will probably due little
to convince skeptics.  End summary.
 
¶2. (U) On Sunday, December 19, Tatishev was killed in a
hunting accident in Zhambyl Oblast, about 260 kilometers
east of Almaty.  According to a preliminary police
investigation Tatishev was allegedly shot in an accidental
discharge while trying to pass a 12-gauge shotgun to a
passenger.  Supposedly, the passenger wanted to shoot wolves
passing in the distance.
 
------------------------------
The Official Version of Events
------------------------------
 
¶3. (U) Police, at least until they finish their
investigation, and bank officials claim no foul play.
Within hours of Tatishev's death, a special session of the
BTA Board of Directors appointed Deputy Chairman of the
Board, Saduakas Mameshtegi, acting Chairman.  At a December
20 press conference, BTA Chairman of Board of Directors
Ualiev said that he and the board "completely exclude any
political motivation" behind the tragedy.  Furthermore, he
rejected business rivalry as the cause behind the death: "Of
course he had rivals and those who thought ill of them, but
we cannot and do not want to link that with this tragedy."
In a further statement, the bank vowed to adhere to its
present business strategy.
 
¶4. (U) Police, for the present, are investigating the
incident as negligence, not as a murder or conspiracy.
Authorities are conducting their investigation under Article
101, para. 1 "Causing death through negligence."
 
¶5. (SBU) Nevertheless, both friends and colleagues are
baffled by the sheer negligence that allegedly led to the
death.  Colleagues of the deceased told Kazinform, a state
news agency, that Tatishev was an experienced hunter who
spent every free weekend hunting.  In addition, a
representative of a Western bank in Kazakhstan, who had
hunted with Tatishev, thought such an accident highly
unlikely.  He told Econoff that Tatishev handled weapons
safely and professionally.  According to the Western banker,
it was unlikely Tatishev would have been so reckless in
handling a loaded firearm.
 
-------------------------
Eliminating a Competitor?
-------------------------
 
¶6. (SBU) Various print sources claim that business rivals
removed Tatishev because of the growing presence of BTA.
The web paper "Navi.Kz" writes that, "its expansion.in the
CIS could not but put the banking structures of the CIS on
their guard."  Under Tatishev, BTA became a leading bank in
Kazakhstan and expanded its activities throughout the CIS.
In addition to existing branches in Moscow, Kiev, Minsk,
Bishkek and Shanghai, BTA also plans to open offices in
Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Chisinau, Baku and Dushanbe.  On
December 16, Tatishev initiated a multi-million dollar
financing deal with Leningrad Oblast.
 
¶7. (U) Tatishev owned 24% of BTA's shares, which will now
apparently be passed to his heirs.  When asked at the press
conference about future management of TatQhev's BTA stake,
Ualiev said that "there are some juridical nuances, and
probably it will be handled via proxy by the bank's
management."
 
-------------------------------
Eliminating a Political Figure?
-------------------------------
 
¶8. (SBU) Others point to Tatishev's links to opposition
party Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DCK).  Tatishev had
long-standing commercial links with Mukhtar Ablyazov, a DCK
 
founder, former Minister of Energy and Industry (1998-99),
and businessman. In 2002, Ablyazov was charged with misusing
his post as Minister and later convicted in what most
observers viewed as a politically-motivated case.   In a
recent broadcast, Kazakhstan state television drew a link
between Ablyazov's May 2004 release from prison and BTA's
subsequent increase in activity such as expansion in the
CIS.  In 2002, Tatishev broke with DCK, saying that
participation in a political party was inappropriate for a
professional businessman.  On December 2, 2004, the BTA
Chairman, together with the heads of six other banks, signed
a statement that the banking sector should not be involved
into politics.
¶9. (SBU) Controversy and rumors swirled around Tatishev even
before his death.  In May 2003, the sensationalist
Kompromat.ru web site reported that Tatishev had absconded
to the U.S. with the bank's funds.  BTA denied the rumor,
stating that the Chairman was on a business trip to the U.S.
The rumor's authors linked Tatishev's trip with the early
release of Ablyazov.  In addition, an attempt was made on
the banker's life in June 2002 when gunmen attacked his
official car.  Fortunately for Tatishev, he was not in the
car at the time.  Following the incident, police theorized
the attack had been due to political motives.
¶10. (SBU) Comment:  Given the penchant here for conspiracy
theories, even the results of the official investigation are
unlikely to clear the air around Tatishev's death. Few in
Kazakhstan, however, believe the accident to have been the
result of a brief moment of bad judgment.  The alleged
circumstances of the accident - passing a loaded shotgun
while driving a jeep - are close to incomprehensible,
particularly in light of Tatishev's renown as a hunter.  The
fate of BTA and of Tatishev's 24% share will, most likely,
prove the best explanation to his untimely death.  End
comment.
¶11. (U) Dushanbe minimize considered.
 
 
NNNN
***

Source/ Full cable: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/01/05ALMATY24.html