Vladimir Kozlov extends his wishes today to Mukhtar Ablyazov on his 51st birthday.
"Today is the birthday of my companion and friend Mukhtar Ablyazov and, as far as possible, I would like to extend my wishes to him on this occasion. I'm doing it so late as in the evening because we had an inspection in the camp. Mukhtar knows perfectly well what kind of "event" that is. At some point in time he has gone through the same. I would like to wish him good health, because in the conditions in which we are now - I and he - health comes first, this is something that enables us to survive. Secondly, I wish him luck because all that is going on now around him, all this pressure... because of this, he will need luck very much. I wanted to remind him that we are both nationals of Kazakhstan and our homeland and our nation must yet benefit a lot from us. So, Mukhtar, I wish you all the best on the occasion of your birthday".
The wishes were posted on the net by Kozlov's wife, Aliyia Turusbekova. Kozlov, the leader of the "Alga!" party is now in a penal colony in Zarekhnoe, from where he extended his wishes to Ablyazov.
Mukhtar Ablyazov is, next to Kozlov, one of the leaders of Kazakh opposition. Supporting the opposition's activity directed against President Nursultan Nazarbayev, he was named public enemy number one.
In 2001, he became one of the founders of the movement Kazakhstan's Democratic Choice, set up by members of Kazakhstan's political elites seeking liberalisation and reforms. As a result, the paths of the party's founders and of President diverged. The legacy of Kazakhstan's Democratic Choice was relied upon by the unregistered party Alga! which was set up in 2005, led by Vladimir Kozlov.
Currently, Ablyazov has been in detention in France for more than half a year now. He was detained on 31st July 2013 under an Interpol red notice . He was wanted by Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine in connection with alleged financial fraud which he is said to be perpetrated. On 9th January 2014, the court in Aix-en-Provence approved the extradition requests filed by Russia and Ukraine. In the opinion of organisations defending human rights - Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, such a decision poses a serious threat of Ablyazov being handed over to Kazakhstan where he cannot expect fair trial and may be subjected to torture.