Russia's Kasparov backs case of dissident banker

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PARIS (AP) — Russian chess master and political activist Garry Kasparov says a Kazakh dissident banker is in danger if a court rules he should be extradited from France.

The case of Mukhtar Ablyazov has been tangled up in courts in at least five countries since he fled Kazakhstan amid the nationalization of BTA Bank, which he had led. Ablyazov is jailed in France as Russia and Ukraine seek his extradition over billions missing from the bank. He was arrested in France on an international warrant.

Ablyazov, once a trusted member of Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev's inner circle, turned against his mentor and founded an opposition movement. Accountants said Ablyazov embezzled billions from BTA. But Kasparov said Thursday that Russia's case against him is political and his life is at risk if extradited.