Switzerland conducts investigation against former Almaty mayor and family

ASTANA – The Geneva Prosecutor’s Office is conducting its own investigation against Viktor Khrapunov, his wife Leila Khrapunova and stepson Ilyas Khrapunov, Zakon.kz reports. The criminal case is now at the stage of pre-trial investigation.

“Yes, indeed, the Geneva Canton Public Prosecutor’s Office is conducting its own investigation against the members of the Khrapunov family on charges of legalisation of assets obtained by stealing the property of the city of Almaty. Within this investigation, the akimat (mayor’s office) of Almaty received Oct. 19, 2017, a notification on recognition as a victim. In addition, the Geneva Prosecutor’s Office also accused Victor, Leila and Ilyas Khrapunovs of legalising criminal proceeds,” Almaty akimat’s reply to an official request reads.

The akimat also said the criminal case is at the stage of pre-trial investigation. The final decision regarding the Khrapunovs will be made by the Swiss court.

Viktor Khrapunov, a former minister of the energy of Kazakhstan and later mayor of Almaty, and his family were accused in Kazakhstan of creating and leading a criminal group, misappropriation and embezzlement of entrusted property, fraud, money laundering and abuse of office. He currently resides in Switzerland where he fled after finding out the Kazakh government started an investigation against him. Vitkor Khrapunov has been placed on an international detention request list by the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL).

The Khrapunovs are in-laws of another high profile fugitive from justice in various jurisdictions, Mukhtar Ablyazov, who was convicted last summer in absentia in Kazakhstan for embezzlement of 7.5 billion dollars from the BTA Bank to 20 years in prison as well as for 22 months imprisonment by the High Court of London in 2012 for the contempt of court and failure to disclose assets.

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