'Dark areas remain' in Kazakh deportation says foreign min.

'Other offices must clarify'

'Dark areas remain' in Kazakh deportation says foreign min.

Brussels, July 22 - Italy's foreign minister said Monday there "were still some dark areas" in the case of a Kazakh dissident's family who was deported from Rome, showing signs of division in an administration at pains to move on from the embarrassing affair. "Other offices need to shed light on them," added Emma Bonino as she entered a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. The Italian Senate on Friday rejected a no-confidence motion in Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano over the expulsion of Alma Shalabayeva, wife of Kazakh oligarch and political opposition figure Mukhtar Ablyazov, and their six-year-old daughter, who were apprehended in a nighttime raid by Italian police late in May. They were rushed onto a private jet with Kazakh diplomats and flown back to a country whose human-rights record has been questioned by several organisations. Alfano's chief of staff at the interior ministry resigned over the scandal earlier this week. Premier Enrico Letta's left-right fragile government would have been in peril if Alfano had failed to pass the confidence test. Before the vote, Letta called on Senators to reject the motion, saying it was "clear" Alfano had nothing to do with the expulsion following the results of an internal investigation. He argued that rejecting the motion was a vote of confidence in his executive, which is based on an unprecedented alliance between his centre-left Democratic Party, the biggest group in parliament, and their long-standing bitter rivals in the PdL. Letta told the Senate that his government was not underestimating the importance of the case, saying it was a cause for "embarrassment and disrepute" for Italy. But he stressed that no one in the higher levels of government knew about the deportation until after it took place and stressed that the administration had behaved with "total transparency". Extra attention has centered around Alfano because he is also the secretary of the centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party of Silvio Berlusconi, who during his stints as premier helped foster lucrative commercial ties between Italy and energy-rich Kazakhstan. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev is a staunch political rival of Ablyazov. Kazakhstan insists Ablyazov, a banker, is not a dissident but an outlaw wanted for a multi-billion-euro embezzlement case at his BTA Bank.

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