LONDON, March 2 - RAPSI. The High Court of Justice ruled that former BTA Bank's CEO Mukhtar Ablyazov, charged with misappropriating about $5 billion from the bank, will be deprived of the right to defend himself in the High Court if he does not turn in to the police on March 9, RIA Novosti reported.
Ablyazov was sentenced to 22 months in jail for contempt of court last week, but the judgment has yet to be enforced as the offender's whereabouts are so far unknown.
The bank believes that Ablyazov, who violated the court's freezing order on many occasions and was caught manipulating documents, may well do so again.
For this reason, the bank has asked the court to forfeit his right to a further defense, while the bank will seek to return its stolen assets and obtain compensation for the losses inflicted by its former management.
The criminal case against Ablyazov was initiated in early 2009 after the state acquired a stake in BTA and the bank slipped under the control of Kazakhstan's Samruk-Kazyna sovereign fund. Ablyazov then fled the country and is now living in the UK. He considers the charges against him politically motivated.
Ablyazov's misappropriations while serving as BTA Bank's CEO are estimated at $4.5 billion. Nine lawsuits have been filed against him.
A criminal case Russia was also opened against Ablyazov in Russia. A Moscow district court has issued an arrest warrant for Ablyazov in absentia in October 2010 on charges of large-scale fraud.
Ablyazov has allegedly moved to France using the documents he earlier withheld from the court.
The deadline to appeal court's February 16 decision to detain Ablyazov expires on March 8.