OREANDA-NEWS. Almaty, August 22, 2013 - Today BTA Bank was pleased to note the decision of the French court to reject former Bank Chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov's application to be released on bail while awaiting the outcome of extradition proceedings. Mr Ablyazov was arrested on 31 July 2013 in connection with crimes that he is alleged to have committed against the Bank in Ukraine. The English High Court has already found him liable for fraud and ordered him to pay the Bank over USD 3bn.

BTA Bank Managing Director and Member of the Management Board, Pavel Prosyankin said:

“We welcome today's court decision to reject Mukhtar Ablyazov's request to be released on bail. He is already a fugitive from Kazakhstan and the UK and has consistently demonstrated that he cannot be trusted to respect any laws which would hold him to account for his fraud.

“Mr Ablyazov is being held as a result of Ukraine's extradition request to France based on their criminal investigation into fraud committed against BTA Bank in Ukraine.

“As the main institutional victim of his fraud - of at least USD 6bn - the Bank will watch the extradition proceedings closely. The fact that he is rightly being held in custody can only assist in the Bank's asset recovery efforts, as it should prevent his attempts further to launder the proceeds of his wrong doing.

“Mr Ablyazov has been found by the High Court in England to have been at the centre of a massive fraud, which not only nearly brought down our Bank, but also caused severe losses to global investors including those from France. The French creditors' exposure is up to USD 50 million. Creditors include respected institutions such as BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, Banque Populaire and Credit Agricole.

“Now that he is now in prison, the fact that he is desperately trying to position himself as a victim of political persecution is predictable and we expect that his attempts to deflect attention from his criminal activity will fail in France, as it did in the UK.”