Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nazarbayev's Former Son-in-Law Apologizes

ReutersNursultan Nazarbayev
ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Rakhat Aliyev, son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, said he wanted to apologize to Nazarbayev for criticizing him publicly.

Aliyev is wanted on kidnapping charges in Kazakhstan. He said on May 26 that his case was politically motivated and accused Nazarbayev, who had ordered police to investigate him, of usurping power.

In the weekend edition of Kazakhstan's Vremya newspaper, he said he had not meant to insult the president.

"First of all I would like to say that I am prepared to personally explain to the president the political statements I made in that statement," he said in an interview. "I would like to apologize to the president and say that I made the statement under the influence of strong emotions. I can even say that it was probably an emotional breakdown."

In May, Nazarbayev ordered police to investigate Aliyev on suspicion of kidnapping senior officials at a mid-size Kazakh bank and fired him from his position as ambassador to Austria.

He was served with an international arrest warrant and is now free on bail in Vienna, awaiting an extradition hearing based on charges of kidnapping and running an organized crime network in Kazakhstan.

Aliyev said last week that he also had been divorced from his wife, Nazarbayev's eldest daughter, without his consent.

Rakhat Aliyev
Vremya said that after the interview, Aliyev asked it not to publish the part where he says he would apologize to Nazarbayev, saying it was a personal matter, but later agreed to it.

 Kazakhstan's parliament on Monday approved judicial amendments barring parties from forming electoral blocs, in a move criticized by the opposition ahead of parliamentary elections expected later this year.

The amendments came after two main opposition parties, Real Ak Zhol and the Social Democratic party, announced plans to form an electoral bloc to run in the early elections, which could take place as soon as August.

The two parties have described the law as unfair and undemocratic and plan to merge into a single party. Both have expressed doubt if they would have enough time to register.