Kazakh Dictator's ex-son-in-law Found Dead in Austrian Jail Cell

rakhat-aliyev-wikiMystery surrounds what happened in Vienna’s Josefstadt prison where the body of Rakhat Aliyev, Kazakh Dictator’s ex-son-in-law, former intelligence chief who was married to the daughter of Kazakh dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev was found in the prison cell last Tuesday.

According to the spokeswoman of the court, Aliyev found dead in the Austrian jail after killing himself on Tuesday Feb. 24 2015. “He committed suicide,” the spokeswoman said.

Attorneys for 52-year-old  Aliyev don’t believe the official ruling of a suicide.

Lawyer Mathias Preuschl said Tuesday that he had ‘massive doubts’ that his client, facing trial for double-murder, took his own life.

“Members of our team visited him only yesterday,” Preuschl told reporters, “and he was full of energy and confident of unmasking the accusations constructed against him for what they are, namely a smear campaign directed by the Kazakh KNB intelligence service.”

In December 30 2014, the Vienna Prosecutor’s Office announced that the former Kazakh Ambassador to the OSCE in Austria Rakhat Aliyev has been charged with double murder.

The details of the indictment remain sealed, according to Vienna prosecutor Thomas Vecsey and Upper Regional Court spokeswoman Christina Salzborn, as the respective lawyers must formally be notified.

A court in the central Asian republic of Kazakhstan found him guilty of the murder of two bankers who were kidnapped in 2007 and found dead in 2011.

In December 2007, the Austrian prosecutors charged Aliyev with the murder of two bankers, a case in which Kazakhstan has repeatedly requested his extradition. His trial was planned to start in Vienna in first half of year 2015.

Aliyev, a former Kazakh ambassador to Austria was chief of Kazakhstan’s tax police, deputy chief of the KNB state security service (Kazakhstan’s successor to the Soviet KGB) and first vice foreign minister. He became a vocal critic of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, had denounced the case against him as politically motivated. He had been in custody since June when he turned himself in to Austrian authorities.

The Austria Press Agency quoted a corrections department official as saying Aliyev’s body was found at 7:20 a.m in Vienna’s Josefstadt prison in a cell where he had been in solitary confinement.

He had hanged himself in a bathroom, the official added.

Kazakhstan had attempted to have him extradited from Austria, but Vienna twice refused because of the former Soviet republic’s human rights record believing he would not receive a fair trial back home. Instead it opened its own investigation in 2011.

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