09ASTANA266, KAZAKHSTAN: WIFE OF DISAPPEARED BANKER FIGHTS FOR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA266 2009-02-13 09:42 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1448
PP RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNP RUEHPW
RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #0266/01 0440942
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 130942Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4611
INFO RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1186
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0583
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1289
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0676
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0760
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000266 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL, H 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/13/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM PROP KCRM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  WIFE OF DISAPPEARED BANKER FIGHTS FOR 
RAKHAT ALIYEV'S EXTRADITION 
 
REF: A. O'MARA-HOAGLAND FEBRUARY 13 EMAIL 
     B. 09 ASTANA 0065 
     C. 08 ASTANA 2457 
     D. 08 ASTANA 2450 
     E. 08 ASTANA 2445 
     F. 08 ASTANA 2362 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland, 1.4 (b)/(d) 
 
 1. (C) SUMMARY:  Armangul Kapasheva, the wife of a missing 
banker whom Rakhat Aliyev allegedly ordered killed, told us 
on February 6 that she believes her husband is still alive 
and that Aliyev knows his whereabouts.  She reported that she 
had given testimony in Austria in the latest "investigation" 
against Aliyev.  Kapasheva asked us whether Aliyev is under 
the protection of the U.S. "special services" and whether he 
is seeking U.S. political asylum.  She intends to travel to 
the United States soon and hopes to increase pressure on the 
Austrians to extradite Aliyev to Kazakhstan.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (C) We met on February 6 in Almaty with Armangul 
Kapasheva, wife of the missing Nurbank manager Zholdas 
Timraliyev.  Timraliyev disappeared in February 2007 along 
with another Nurbank official, Aybar Khasenov, and it is 
widely believed that the two bankers were kidnapped and 
subsequently murdered on the order of Rakhat Aliyev, 
President Nazarbayev's former son-in-law.  Aliyev, along with 
a group of his associates, the so-called "Group of 16," were 
tried in absentia in March 2008 and found guilty of 
kidnapping, extortion, fraud, and organizing a criminal 
group.  Aliyev remains in self-imposed exile in Austria; in 
2007, Austrian authorities denied Kazakhstan's request for 
his extradition on the grounds that he could not expect a 
fair trial in Kazakhstan.  Kapasheva recently formed an NGO, 
the Taghdyr Human Rights Foundation, with the declared goal 
of getting Aliyev extradited to Kazakhstan.  She told us that 
she recently returned from Vienna, where Austrian authorities 
have resumed their investigation into Aliyev's case. 
Kapasheva was uncertain about the details, but told us  that 
Austrian prosecutors  requested her testimony in order to 
determine whether to pursue a "formal investigation." 
 
3.  (C) Kapasheva initially struck us as sensible and 
reasonable, but it became clear in the course of our 
conversation with her that her husband's disappearance has 
had a powerful impact on her, and her grief sometimes pulls 
her in seemingly contradictory directions.  She 
wholeheartedly believes that her husband is still alive -- a 
belief she bases on her "consultations with several psychics" 
-- and that Rakhat Aliyev is the only person who can reveal 
his whereabouts.  Her first question to us was whether Aliyev 
is under the protection of  U.S. "secret services" and 
whether there is any truth to the rumors that he is 
attempting to get political asylum in the United States. 
(NOTE: Kapasheva is not the only one to give credence to such 
rumors; in December, the Presidential Administration head 
Aslan Musin raised the same questions with the Ambassador 
(ref D).  END NOTE). 
 
4. (C) We reassured her that we have no contact with Aliyev 
and would not like to see him in the United States, though we 
are not certain she believed us.  She railed at the Austrian 
authorities for "protecting such a monster," but, in the same 
breath, ruminated that it may be good for Aliyev to get 
asylum because he "would feel safe enough to tell me where my 
husband is."  Kapasheva shared that both she and her 
husband's father traveled to Vienna several times and 
unsuccessfully tried to meet with Aliyev to convince him, "on 
a human level," to reveal her husband's whereabouts. 
 
5.  (C) Kapasheva told us that she plans to go to the United 
States to "publicize her story" to government officials 
(including Secretary Clinton), the media, and human rights 
NGOs, in the hopes of increasing pressure on Austria to 
extradite Aliyev.  She said she reached out to the office of 
Senator McCain and asked for suggestions of other "people of 
influence." 
 
 
ASTANA 00000266  002 OF 002 
 
 
6.  (C) COMMENT:  We should continue doing our best to avoid 
getting entangled in the Aliyev affair -- which President 
Nazarbayev sees as an existential issue.  Both sides -- the 
government and Aliyev -- seek to manipulate us to their own 
advantage, and the family members of the missing bankers are 
perhaps being used by the government to strengthen its hand. 
In fact, because Aliyev has hi
red Western (including U.S.) 
lawyers and public relations firms, we suspect we are seeing 
dueling PR efforts.  Both sides know which Western buttons to 
push -- Aliyev the "corruption" of his ex-"Godfather-in-law," 
and the government the "human rights" button.  Aliyev's 
extradition is, in fact, a matter between the Austrian 
government and judicial system and the Kazakhstanis, and we 
have no role to play in it.   Our involvement in the case can 
only fan false suspicions that we are protecting Aliyev.   We 
will continue to meet in Kazakhstan with the families of the 
missing bankers at the working-level, if they request future 
meetings, and recommend that the Department agree to meet 
with them at a level no higher than office director.  END 
COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

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