Rome

Alfano reiterates government unaware of Kazakh deportation

Officials 'did not know' Ablyazov political refugee

Alfano reiterates government unaware of Kazakh deportation

Rome, July 16 - Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano reiterated in his formal statement to parliament Tuesday that no government minister had been informed before the deportation of the daughter and wife of a Kazakh dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov. Alfano has been accused of mismanaging the case of the dissident's wife Alma Shalabayeva and six-year-old girl, who were seized in a nighttime raid and put on a private jet with Kazakh diplomats at the end of May. Alfano's chief of staff at the interior ministry, Giuseppe Procaccini, resigned on Tuesday over the controversial deportation. Procaccini was reportedly contacted by Kazakhstan's ambassador to Rome in relation to the expulsion before it took place. Alfano, who is also the secretary of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party, has said he did not know anything about the case until after the pair were deported. "At no point during the operations did any Italian official have information that Ablyazov was a political refugee and not a dangerous fugitive," Alfano said.

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