ATSANA, December 24 (RAPSI) – Alma Shalabayeva, the wife of former BTA Bank Chairman of the Board Mukhtar Ablyazov, is now allowed to leave Kazakhstan, after the restriction notice imposed earlier was substituted for bail, official Foreign Ministry’s spokesman said a briefing on Tuesday.

In November, Prosecutor General’s Office of Kazakhstan reported that Shalabayeva appealed to the authorities for permission to leave the country.

In July, Kazakhstan issued a non-custodial sentence to Shalabayeva for holding a forged passport.

On May 31, Mukhtar Ablyazov's wife and daughter were deported from Italy to Kazakhstan for the possession of false Kazakh passports. The deportation was preceded by a visit from Kazakhstan's Ambassador to Italy's Interior Ministry official Giuseppe Procaccini. A midnight sting operation which followed failed to produce Ablyazov himself, but resulted in a scandal which led to Procaccini's resignation and damaged the reputation of Italy's current government headed by Enrico Letta.

Ablyazov was detained on July 31 near Cannes, France. Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine are all seeking the extradition of the fugitive banker. Kazakhstan and France do not have an extradition treaty and extradition to Russia may be hindered for procedural reasons, so Ukraine remains the choice destination.

Kazakhstan is seeking the extradition of Ablyazov, who fled to the UK after the Kazakh government acquired a stake in BTA in 2009 and the bank came under the control of its sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna. Ablyazov was granted political asylum in Britain in 2011.

He maintains that the charges against him are politically motivated.