A trial that opened this week in Kazakhstan sees the government returning with gusto to the pursuit of its favorite bogeyman: disgraced banker and opposition stalwart Mukhtar Abylazov.
The special inter-district court of Almaty, Kazakhstan’s business capital, on April 3 started hearings into charges of alleged massive fraud. The anti-corruption bureau has put the cost of the alleged financial machinations while Ablyazov was head of privately run BTA Bank at more than $7.5 billion — a sharp jump from the $6 billion that has previously been cited.
Abylazov was nowhere to be seen. He did, however, post a video appeal on his Facebook page on the eve of the hearings to give advice on how to mount massive protest rallies in Kazakhstan in his absence.
“You have to choose a theme for the protests that will bring thousands or tens of thousands of people out onto the street,” Ablyazov said from an undisclosed foreign location. He suggested that land ownership issues, education and bad roads could be good spurs for rousing demonstrations.
To read the full story