A criminal investigation into alleged money-laundering by the son-in-law of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbaev has widened to include the president himself.
The Swiss federal prosecutor’s office launched an investigation into the suspected laundering of around SFr600 million ($655 million) through Swiss bank accounts by oil magnate Timur Kulibayeva in September 2010.
On Monday, Bruno de Preux, a Geneva-based lawyer acting for a group of Kazak citizens “opposed to state corruption”, told the Swiss news agency prosecutors were examining the suspected laundering of a further SFr400 million.
Nazarbaev is accused of being the beneficiary of some $100 million that was allegedly laundered via a third party and deposited into a Credit Suisse account in Zurich. The money relates to the 2006 takeover of satellite television group Khabar Agency.
The federal prosecutor’s office declined to either confirm or deny that Nazarbaev was one of the subjects of its investigation.
In April 2011, Nazarbaev, who has served as Kazakhstan’s president since the country declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, was elected to another five-year term.