Rakhat Aliyev cover

photo credits: Evstafiev - CC-BY-SA-2.5

Rakhat Aliyev

Kazakhstani politician

Rakhat Mukhtaruly Aliyev (Kazakh: Рахат Мұхтарұлы Әлиев; 10 December 1962 – 24 February 2015) was a senior official of the government of Kazakhstan who died in an Austrian prison awaiting trial on charges of murder. His trial was planned to start in Vienna in first half of year 2015. Austrian legal circles were giving much attention to this high-profile criminal case in which a former diplomat was facing murder charges.He was chief of Kazakhstan's tax police, deputy chief of the KNB state security service (Kazakhstan's successor to the Soviet KGB), ambassador to Austria, and first vice foreign minister. While serving in those government posts, Aliyev amassed a fortune in the banking, oil refining, news media, telecommunications, and agricultural commodities sectors. He was born in Almaty. In February 2007, he was appointed to his second tour as Kazakhstan's ambassador to Austria and to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, before being relieved of his post and losing his diplomatic immunity.Until June 2007, Aliyev was married to Dariga Nazarbayeva, the eldest daughter of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. After hiding in Malta to avoid an Interpol warrant for his arrest, and attempting to gain Cypriot citizenship, Aliyev was taken into custody in June 2014 by Austrian authorities on charges that include kidnapping and murder. He was jailed at the Josefstadt prison pending trial, and was placed under watch as a suicide risk.Aliyev, who portrayed himself as a dissident after falling out with Kazakhstan's leadership, said that he was not guilty and the charges against him were politically motivated.
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