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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nazarbayev's Son-in-Law Is Divorced

VIENNA -- The son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said he had been divorced from his wife without his consent.

Rakhat Aliyev's divorce marks another twist in the battle of power and influence in Kazakhstan, where clan divisions and family connections play a crucial role in politics.

"Today I received the information where it says I am divorced," Aliyev, the former ambassador to Austria, said Monday. "They stuck a fax with the information through the fence at my home at a quarter past midnight. ... They even falsified my signature on the document."

Aliyev is accused in Kazakhstan of abducting two executives at Nurbank, a midsized Kazakh bank he used to control, and of mafia-style activity. He has denied wrongdoing.

Aliyev, a powerful businessman who had declared that he wanted to run for president in 2012, was hit with an international arrest warrant and detained by Austrian police on June 1. He was freed on a bail of 1 million euros ($1.34 million) shortly afterward, pending an extradition hearing based on charges of kidnapping and involvement in organized crime levied in his homeland.

Aliyev has three children with Nazarbayev's eldest daughter, Dariga, who has been regarded as a possible successor to her father and is living in Kazakhstan. "I spoke to my wife on the telephone," Aliyev said, showing papers saying his wife had asked for the divorce. "She said: 'My father pressured me very much,' and she couldn't do anything."