Top French court approves extradition of Kazakh dissident banker to Russia or Ukraine

Associated Press

France's top appeals court has approved the extradition of a Kazakh oligarch-turned-dissident to Russia or Ukraine.

Mukhtar Ablyazov's lawyers immediately urged the French government not to sign the extradition decree, arguing that he would not get a fair trial. They say numerous legal cases against him were prompted by his opposition political activities.

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Lawyer Peter Sahlas said that Ablyazov can still appeal to France's highest administrative body or to the European Court of Human Rights.

Ablyazov fled Kazakhstan amid the nationalization of BTA Bank, which he once led. He was arrested in southern France in 2013 on embezzling accusations, and both Russia and Ukraine have requested his extradition. France has no extradition agreement with Kazakhstan.

BTA Bank welcomed Wednesday's ruling by the Court of Cassation.