Kazakhstan offers to allow fugitive dissident’s wife return to Italy

Experts say Rome would find conditions difficult to accept

Italian interior Mininster Angelino Alfano. Italy retroactively revoked Alma Shalabayeva’s deportation order this month while ordering an internal inquiry over an affair that has rocked the already fragile left-right coalition amid suspicions that commercial interests lay behind her expulsion. Photograph: AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

Italian interior Mininster Angelino Alfano. Italy retroactively revoked Alma Shalabayeva’s deportation order this month while ordering an internal inquiry over an affair that has rocked the already fragile left-right coalition amid suspicions that commercial interests lay behind her expulsion. Photograph: AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

Wed, Jul 24, 2013, 01:00


Kazakhstan has offered to allow the detained wife of a fugitive dissident to return to Italy, from where she was deported two months ago, but under conditions experts said Rome would find difficult to accept.

In its latest comment on a case that has strained diplomatic relations between the two countries and weakened Italy’s coalition government, Kazakhstan said yesterday that Alma Shalabayeva could request to return to Italy but that Rome would have to guarantee she would return to Kazakhstan should she need to stand trial there.


Deported
Ms Shalabayeva was hurriedly deported from Italy on May 31st following a raid on a Rome villa which Kazakhstan had requested in seeking the arrest of her fugitive husband, Mukhtar Ablyazov, who turned out not to be there.

Italy retroactively revoked the deportation order this month while ordering an internal inquiry over an affair that has rocked the already fragile left-right coalition amid suspicions that commercial interests lay behind her expulsion.

Last week the UN office for human rights condemned her “unlawful” expulsion as amounting to an “extraordinary rendition”.

It called on both countries to reach agreement on the “rapid return” to Italy of Ms Shalabayeva and her six-year-old daughter who was also expelled on a private jet chartered by Kazakhstan.

A report by three UN rapporteurs for human rights said Italian authorities appeared to have ignored concerns Ms Shalabayeva might be at risk of being persecuted or tortured upon her return to Kazakhstan because of her husband’s political activities.

Italy’s foreign ministry had no immediate comment on the Kazakh offer.
– ( Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2013)