France OKs extradition of dissident Kazakh banker

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PARIS (AP) — A French appeals court has authorized the extradition to Russia or Ukraine of a Kazakh dissident banker whose legal case is tangled up in at least five countries.

His lawyer immediately announced a decision to appeal, which blocks the procedure.

Mukhtar Ablyazov fled Kazakhstan amid the nationalization of BTA Bank, which he once led as chairman. He was arrested in southern France in July 2013 and both Russia and Ukraine requested his extradition. France has no extradition agreement with Kazakhstan.

Ablyazov's lawyers say the cases against him are political and that he will be sent back to autocratic Kazakhstan if extradited.

A lower French court had ruled to send him back and the appeals court in Lyon confirmed the decision on Friday.