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BTA Bank statement on sentencing of key Ablyazov associate to prison for two 18-month terms


Almaty, 29 June 2011 – As part of the litigation being pursued by JSC BTA Bank to recover compensation for the losses suffered under its previous management, the High Court in England today has sentenced Syrym Shalabayev, the brother-in-law and close associate of Mukhtar Ablyazov, to two 18-month custodial sentences and one six-month custodial sentence, all to run concurrently. Court decision was carried out under current litigation process initiated by BTA Bank and aimed at asset recovery and compensation of loss of the Bank as a result of actions by former management.

Mr Shalabayev was sentenced after he was found to be in serious contempt of court on 17 May 2011 for failing to reveal his assets and provide information to BTA Bank on monies alleged to have been misappropriated from the Bank when ordered to do so by a High Court judge. Mr Shalabayev is currently in hiding, apparently keeping his whereabouts secret from even his own lawyers. If he is found in the United Kingdom, where he was resident with his family until recently, he will be arrested and put in prison.

BTA Bank has uncovered significant evidence linking Mr Shalabayev to a major alleged fraud involving the misappropriation of hundreds of millions of dollars. In November 2010, Mr Shalabayev was served with an injunction order in connection with that alleged fraud. The sentence imposed today by the English High Court was for Mr Shalabayev's failure to comply with that order.

Evidence showing Mr Shalabayev's secret role in administering Mr Ablyazov's assets led to two important developments in the proceedings against Mr Ablyazov: The English High Court's extension of the receivership over Mr Ablyazov's property to over 600 companies, and BTA Bank's application to the court to commit Mr Ablyazov to prison for breaches of court injunctions against him.

In line with its contractual obligation to creditors as part of the Bank’s restructuring agreement, the Bank remains determined to seek redress against those who have been instrumental in the losses that it has suffered from alleged fraud, as well as those who are assisting in the concealment of monies or assets inappropriately taken from the Bank. Where necessary, this will include steps such as applications to commit to prison those who do not comply with the obligations imposed upon them by the English High Court to assist the Bank with these efforts.

The sentencing today by the English High Court is the latest in a series of successful legal steps to recover the assets that the Bank alleges have been misappropriated.


For more information please contact:

Idil Oyman
+44 (0) 207 842 0112

Elliott Ball
+44 (0) 207 822 0755

Olzhas Beisembayev
+ 7272 66 79 85

Notes to editors:

  • Syrym Shalabayev is a defendant in the JSC BTA Bank v Roman Solodchenko and others proceedings ("AAA proceedings") in the English High Court.
  • BTA Bank issued committal proceedings in the English High Court against former BTA Bank Chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov on Monday 16 May 2011.
  • In a judgment in July 2010 (upheld in October 2010), Justice Teare ordered that Mr Ablyazov's assets be put into receivership.
  • To date, the Bank has served seven claims against Mr Ablyazov seeking over US$4 billion in compensation.
  • In September 2010 the Specialized Financial Court of Almaty recognised the completion of the Bank's US$16.7 billion debt restructuring which was pursued in close cooperation with the Bank's creditors. It has since been approved by the US courts, the courts of the Russian Federation and the courts of the Ukraine. The Chancery Division of the UK court recognised the restructuring in August 2010.