Kazakh dissident banker to appeal French extradition order in embezzlement case

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Lawyers for a Kazakh banker turned dissident accused of embezzling billions say they will appeal a French extradition order that would send him to Russia to face justice.

Mukhtar Ablyazov's legal saga began in 2001 and spans several countries, most recently France where he was arrested more than two years ago. He has fought extradition to Russia, which claims its citizens were defrauded in the collapse of the now-nationalized bank, BTA.

His lawyers on Monday disclosed France's extradition order and promised an appeal. BTA said the extradition order was an essential step in recovering the missing money.

Ablyazov, a former Kazakh energy minister, turned against longtime leader Nursultan Nazarbayev and founded an opposition party. His lawyers say they fear Russia will hand him over to Nazarbayev.