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Dariga Nazarbayeva wins legal challenge against unexplained wealth orders over £80m London properties

AKIPRESS.COM - Dariga Nazarbayeva has won a legal challenge against attempts to force her and her son to reveal the funds used to buy prime London properties worth £80m, Independent reported.

The three homes were the target of unexplained wealth orders (UWOs) issued because of allegations they were “acquired as a means of laundering the proceeds of unlawful conduct by Rakhat Aliyev”, the High Court heard.

His ex-wife - politician Dariga Nazarbayeva - and son provided records to the National Crime Agency (NCA) that they said showed the properties were unconnected to Mr Aliyev, and launched a judicial review after the UWOs were not withdrawn.

Giving judgment remotely on Wednesday, Mrs Justice Lang overturned all three UWOs.

She said the “NCA’s assumption that Mr Aliyev was the founder” and financial sponsor of foundations listed as registered owners of the properties was “unreliable”.

The judge said there was “cogent evidence” that Dr Nazarbayeva and their son Nurali Aliyev founded the companies and provided money to purchase them.

A spokesperson on behalf of Dr Nazarbayeva said: "Today's judgment has entirely vindicated Dr Nazarbayeva. She is pleased that the court has agreed with her that the NCA’s investigations were flawed and that she has not been involved in any wrongdoing. The court agreed that there were serious shortcomings in the NCA's original investigation and that the NCA failed to carry out a fair-minded evaluation of the information subsequently provided by Dr Nazarbayeva, which, had it done so, should have resulted in the NCA withdrawing the orders several months ago. It is frustrating and disappointing that she has had to take this action to fight these draconian proceedings and clear her name.

Dr Nazarbayeva is also deeply disappointed that the NCA thought it appropriate to use the cloak of these court proceedings to make damaging attacks on her reputation and her country, unfairly insulting Dr Nazarbayeva and her 18 million compatriots. Had the NCA focused its efforts on engaging with Dr Nazarbayeva rather than making unwarranted slurs against the country she so proudly loves and to which her family has made such a distinguished contribution, these proceedings could have been avoided.

While Dr Nazarbayeva is pleased with the court's decision, the NCA’s flawed investigation has been intrusive on her private and family life, and she requests that their privacy is respected."

Dr Nazarbayeva, 56, is the current chair of the Senate of Kazakhstan and was previously the country’s deputy prime minister.

She is the daughter of former president Nursultan Nazarbayev and political analysts predict she may seek the same post in future.

Nurali Aliyev is one of the three children she had with Mr Aliyev before their divorce in 2007.

The businessman and diplomat, who had previously risen to become a senior member of the Kazakh government, fell out with Nazarbayev and was driven into de-facto exile.

Mr Aliyev was accused of crimes including murder, corruption, money laundering, torture and fomenting a coup against his former father-in-law.

He died in an Austrian prison in 2015, while awaiting trial accused of killing two bankers in Kazakhstan, after apparently killing himself.

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