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French Court approves requests from Russia and Ukraine on extradition of Mukhtar Ablyazov, prioritises Russian

09.01.2014 17:41:35

Almaty, January 09, 2014 - BTA Bank has hailed the French Court's decision to extradite Mukhtar Ablyazov. The court has approved requests from both Ukraine and Russia and has prioritized Russia's request. This is a landmark decision which will help the Bank's efforts to recover over $6 billion in assets which were misappropriated by Mr Ablyazov during his tenure as Chairman of the Bank.

The decision to pursue criminal charges was taken by both Ukraine and Russia in relation to frauds committed against the Bank in those jurisdictions. It was supported by the Bank as the ultimate means of forcing Mr Ablyazov to face justice for his actions, having failed to comply with numerous judgments and orders made against him by the English High Court.

Chris Hardman, Partner at Hogan Lovells, legal consultants for BTA Bank in London, said:

"The decision to extradite Mr Ablyazov to stand trial for at least some of his many frauds on BTA Bank should assist the bank in its recovery efforts. The extradition will greatly limit his ability to continue to launder the proceeds of his wrongdoing. It also demonstrates once again that Mr Ablyazov's repeated attempts to portray himself as being pursued by the bank for political reasons are groundless; he is merely being required to answer for the billions of dollars that were taken from BTA and its creditors."

Antonin Levy, legal consultant to BTA Bank in France, commented:

"Today's decision of the court confirms the validity of the Russian and Ukrainian extradition requests as well as that of the claims brought by BTA bank against Mr Ablyazov. The French judge considers the facts against Mr Ablyazov as sufficiently grave to justify his extradition. Whether Mr Ablyazov appeals this decision is irrelevant when considering the facts since such an appeal would only address procedural issues and would not impact in any way the merits of the extradition or that of the case against him for stealing billions from the bank."

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