English High Court sentences another of Mukhtar Ablyazov’s brothers in law to prison21.11.2013 14:32:59
Almaty, November 21, 2013 - The English High Court has found Salim Shalabayev, the brother in law of Kazakh fugitive and former BTA Bank Chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov, to be in contempt of court and sentenced him to 22 months in prison.
On 18 October 2013, Mr Shalabayev was found to be in contempt of court for his consistent failure to comply with numerous orders of the Court. He had been ordered not to leave England and Wales until he had provided information on the whereabouts of millions of dollars that passed through companies believed by the High Court to belong to Mr Ablyazov. Despite this, he refused to answer and absconded. In the Committal Judgement, Mr Justice Eder found that Salim's wrongful conduct took place over an extended period, included lying to the Court of Appeal and was "committed deliberately and knowingly."
In sentencing him, Mr Justice Eder rejected Mr Shalabayev's claims that he was unable to comply with Court orders because of fears for his safety, noting that those claims were only untested assertions and, even if true, the fact that "Salim was very fearful, as he says, is, to my mind, of no relevance whatsoever in light of the orders that have been made."
Mr Shalabayev is the third associate of Mr Ablyazov to be committed to prison for contempt of court. His brother Syrym Shalabayev was found to be in contempt of court in May 2011, and Paul Kythreotis was found in contempt of court in the UK and in Cyprus (where he served a three month prison sentence). Mr Ablyazov was sentenced by the High Court to 22 months imprisonment before fleeing the jurisdiction in February 2012.
Pavel Prosyankin, BTA Bank Managing Director overseeing the asset recovery process and Member of the Management Board of the bank, said:
"We welcome this judgment against Salim Shalabayev. We will continue to pursue these committal actions to help break the networks through which Mr Ablyazov and his associates can improperly hide and disperse assets. The Bank is 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 misappropriated from the Bank."