Kazakh banker sentenced to 22 months' imprisonment

21st February 2012

On 16 February 2012, Mr Justice Teare handed down judgment on the trial of allegations of contempt of court made by JSC BTA Bank against Mukhtar Ablyazov (following a 15-day trial held in November and December 2011). The judgment considers three sample allegations of contempt of court, one of failing to disclose assets, one of giving false evidence on oath, and one of dealing with assets in breach of a freezing injunction. It concludes that Mr Ablyazov committed the three contempts of court as alleged. The court heard consequential argument on 16 February 2012, following which it sentenced Mr Ablyazov to three terms of 22 months’ imprisonment, such terms to run concurrently, and issued a warrant of committal for Mr Ablyazov’s arrest. The case has been extremely high profile, with substantial articles appearing in The Times, the Financial Times, the Guardian, the Evening Standard, the Lawyer, the Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Tribune on 16 and 17 February 2012. The Financial Times reported the judgment on its front page, under the headline “Kazakh bank tycoon sentenced to 22 months fails to turn up for jail”.

JSC BTA Bank was represented by Stephen Smith QC, Tim Akkouh and Caley Wright of New Square Chambers. 


JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov (committal)

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