Silvio Berlusconi’s ally ‘rendered dissident’s family to Kazakhstan’
Angelino Alfano accused of ordering an 'extraordinary rendition' to help Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev
Silvio Berlusconi’s top ally in Italy’s coalition government has been accused of ordering an “extraordinary rendition” to help Kazakhstan’s dictator, President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The wife and six-year-old daughter of leading Kazakh dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov were arrested and deported from Italy on 29 May on the orders of Rome’s interior ministry, which is headed by Angelino Alfano.
Mr Alfano, who also serves as Deputy Prime Minister, is a senior member of Mr Berlusconi’s conservative PDL party, and is seen as the former premier’s right-hand man in government.
Mr Ablyazov’s wife was accused of holding a false passport and whisked out of Rome within 72 hours on a chartered jet, accompanied by a Kazakh official. But a Rome court has now ruled her documents were in order and it has questioned the validity and speed of the deportation.
Centre-left politicians and newspapers in Italy have accused Mr Alfano of delivering the wife and child of Mr Ablyazov to Kazakhstan at the behest of Mr Berlusconi, who has described the Kazakh President as “a dear friend”. Mr Alfano has, as justice minister under previous Berlusconi administrations, twice attempted to introduce immunity laws to shield the media mogul from prosecution – laws that were subsequently struck down as unconstitutional by the courts.
Lawyers for Mr Ablyazov accused the Italian authorities of arranging an “extraordinary rendition”. The interior ministry told The Independent it was making no comment on the events.
But following the Rome appeal court’s declaration that it was “perplexed” by the unusually rapid deportation of two relatives of a political refugee to a country with a dreadful human rights record, Prime Minister Enrico Letta announced he has ordered an internal inquiry into the affair.
Liberal Foreign Minister Emma Bonino was reported to be “furious” at the nature of the deportation and says she was not informed of events. In her official statement she said the deportations appeared “abnormal”. Justice Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri is also calling for clarification.
The fact 50 armed police were involved in the arrest at a villa near Rome on 29 May suggests the authorities had hoped to find Mr Ablyazov himself at the residence – and that they were expecting some resistance.
Britain granted Mr Ablyazov – a former energy minister under Nazarbayev – political asylum in 2011, after Amnesty International declared that he had been tortured for leading political opposition to the regime. But in June last year he fled the UK, apparently in order to avoid a jail sentence for lying about his financial assets.
Mr Ablyazov’s eldest daughter, Madina, speaking from Switzerland, told Radio Free Europe: “Probably, the minute they have him, they will just kill him. They want to kill him, because my father is the biggest opponent to the President.”
President Nazarbayev and President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus head the only two European states denied participation in the Council of Europe because of their human rights records. Former premier Mr Berlusconi enjoys warm relations with both.
- 1 2015 General Election: Green party will not appear in TV debate alongside Ukip – says BBC
- 2 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 3 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
- 4 North Korean officials 'publicly executed for watching South Korean soap operas'
- 5 Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
Elizabeth Norment dead: House of Cards actress honoured by Kevin Spacey after she dies aged 61
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
North Korean officials 'publicly executed for watching South Korean soap operas'
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
Nigel Farage and Frankie Boyle clash over Andrew Lawrence's 'Mock the Week' criticism
£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Nursery Manager Long term Ran...
£24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...
£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...
£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Glou...