Aix-en-Provence, France – French court in Aix-en-Provence has authorized the extradition of the main Kazakh opposition figure, Mukhtar Ablyazov, to Russia and Ukraine. The court stated that between the two requests it would give preference to the Russian one.
The lawyers have now 5 days to present the appeal against the decision of extradition to Ukraine and 7 days to present the appeal against the decision of extradition to Russia.
The Open Dialogue Foundation is shocked by such decision of the court. It means that the court in Aix-en-Provence did not take into account the clear political background and motivation of the case and the two extradition requests. It also did not consider the serious risks of torture and ill-treatment for Mukhtar Ablyazov is sent to one of the two countries, nor the risk of his imminent subsequent extradition to Kazakhstan, denounced in numerous appeals by the international civil society.
The politically motivated extradition requests are a serious problem that the European countries have been facing over the past years. The extradition system is based on mutual trust that the countries involved will respect human rights and international obligations. However, when non-democratic countries are involved, such insurances can’t be treated as reliable.