Austrian police officers arrested on Kazakh espionage charges

Rakhat Aliyev

Rakhat Aliyev

Last month we reported on Rakhat Aliyev, former Director of Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee (KNB) and former son-in-law to the country’s dictatorial president, Nursultan Nazarbayev. In 2007, following his divorce with Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter, Aliyev was stripped of his government positions, issued with an arrest warrant, and now lives in exile in Vienna, Austria. Soon afterwards, Aliyev began exposing President Nazarbayev’s corrupt dealings with foreign oil companies operating in Kazakhstan. In January of this year, a Kazakh-employed public relations firm working to “exonerate” Nazarbayev was found to have received assistance from “two anonymous serving officers of MI6”, Britain’s external intelligence agency. Now a new scandal has erupted in Vienna, where two Austrian police officers have been arrested by the country’s authorities and charged with “spying for Kazakhstan”. The two officers were apprehended by counterintelligence agents while reportedly “gathering information from a computer about Rakhat Aliyev”. The Austrian government has refused to release more information on the arrests, but intelligence observers are now wondering why so many European law enforcement and intelligence agents seem to be contracting their services to the Kazakh government, in its effort to silence the exiled Aliyev. The recent arrests did not mark the first time that Austrian law-enforcement operatives were arrested for targeting Aliyev on behalf of the government of Kazakhstan. Last January another Vienna police officer was arrested and convicted on similar charges.

About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

2 Responses to Austrian police officers arrested on Kazakh espionage charges

  1. Allan Green says:

    I am wondering whether we can trust Rakhat’s allegations. Especially on the MI6 involvement.

    Are there any secondary or primary confirmations?

    I am aware that US firms were involved in a massive bribery scandal with Nazarbayev – this was reported some years back in the msm, but the specific charge of MI6 involvement could use a discussion.

  2. intelNews says:

    Good point. Note that the allegations of accredited MI6 officers helping Nazarbayev were aired by The London Times, which appear to have independently confirmed them by consulting multiple sources. What is also of interest is that the Voice of America (US government owned) is pretty much the only Western outlet systematically covering the Rakhat affair. This is interesting, considering the US involvement in the Kazakh oil fields (which you indicated), as well as the ongoing strategic setback in Kyrgyzstan. Watch this space for more on this developing story. [JF]

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