France blocks extradition of Kazakh oligarch to Russia

Kazakh opposition figure and oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov (C), surrounded by his lawyers, leaves the Fleury-Merogis jail after being released, on December 9, 2016, in Fleury-Merogis, near ParisKazakh opposition figure Mukhtar Ablyazov was released from prison late Friday after France’s highest administrative authority blocked his extradition to Russia, where he is accused of embezzling billions of dollars. The 53-year-old Ablyazov, who has been held in French custody since July 2013 when he was arrested on the Cote d’Azur, walked out of the Fleury-Merogis prison in a Paris suburb smiling, an AFP photographer saw. Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine all accuse him of having embezzled billions of dollars during his time as head of the Kazakh bank BTA.

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