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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nazarbayev In-Law Investigated

ReutersRakhat Aliyev standing with his wife Dariga Nazarbayeva in December 2005.
ALMATY -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered law enforcement agencies on Wednesday to investigate the activities of his son-in-law Rakhat Aliyev, a powerful businessman and politician.

Police said in a statement they had opened a criminal case into Aliyev on suspicion of his involvement in the January kidnapping of two executives with Nurbank, a mid-size bank half-owned by Aliyev.

"The president gave personal orders to the prosecutor general and the interior minister to hold the investigation ... in the most thorough way," the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Aliyev, the husband of Nazarbayev's eldest daughter, Dariga, was sent as ambassador to Vienna in February just days after a scandal around Nurbank erupted.

Aliyev could not be reached for comment. He has previously denied any involvement in the case. He also served an earlier term as Kazakhstan's envoy to Austria. Government sources and analysts said both stints could be linked to a falling out with the president.

Kazakhstan Today reported that the house of Aliyev's father in Kazakhstan was searched earlier in the day.

Former Nurbank CEO Abilmazhen Gilimov has accused Aliyev of staging his kidnapping and that of his deputy.

"Rakhat Aliyev handcuffed us, threatened us with weapons and physical violence and demanded that all our acquaintances, friends and relatives ... give up part of their business," Gilimov's brother quoted him as saying at a news conference Wednesday. The other executive, Zholdas Timraliyev, is still missing.