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Shalabayeva to stay in Italy for now

'Recognition for Bonino' says lawyer

27 December, 11:32
Shalabayeva to stay in Italy for now (see related story) (ANSA) - Rome, December 27 - Alma Shalabayeva, the wife of Kazakh oligarch and political dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov, will stay in Italy for a spell after returning to Rome on Friday, her lawyer told ANSA.

Shalabayeva and her then six-year-old daughter were deported on a private jet to Kazakhstan after they were seized in May in a raid on a villa in Rome by Italian police following pressure from Kazak officials, causing a major international scandal.

Italy repealed her expulsion order after it emerged Shalabayeva had the legal right to reside here.

Shalabayeva was able to leave Kazakhstan after the authorities in Astana this week lifted restrictions on her movements, following lobbying from Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino.

"Her decision to stay in Italy is recognition of the great merits of Minister Bonino," said the lawyer, Anna D'Alessandro.

"It's recognition for a country that, after an illegitimate expulsion, worked to restore enforcement of the law".

The lawyer said Shalabayeva was travelling with her daughter.

She added that the woman would probably leave Italy after a spell here. She did not say where to, but she did point out that Shalabayeva has family in Switzerland.