by Ralph T. Niemeyer

The case of the fugitive oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov, who absconded from Kazakhstan with some $7.6 billion of funds from the country’s BTA Bank, of which he was head, continues to attract attention from the press, and from the courts.

With a 20 year jail sentence awaiting him, should he return to his homeland, as well having an outstanding 22 month sentence handed down by the High Court of England and Wales for contempt of court, and multiple extradition warrants outstanding against Ablyazov and his associates, as well as a murder enquiry, attention has turned to the woman who was his “right hand” at BTA, and who was, allegedly, his former lover, Kazakh lawyer Botagoz Jardemalie, currently resident in Belgium where is is alleged that Ablyazov himself has brokered a deal for citizenship in return for giving evidence in our in the so-called “Kazakhgate” scandal.

This website has conducted an exclusive interview with one of Ms. Jardemalie’s former colleagues, which lifts the lid on the dynamics between the couple and their colleagues and subordinates.

“As a lawyer, Botagoz Jardemalie was good, but the bank had many such, and many even better. So how did she rise so quickly to the board of BTA Bank? By her bosom in Ablyazov’s office, but certainly not with his mind. She is far from being stupid, she received a good education”, on condition of anonymity told her ex-colleague from BTA Bank by telephone to EU Chronicle.

“She is from the academic family, and was well trained. She certainly took the cake for chutzpah…”, said our source.

“On the human side, while she had been working in BTA, Jardemalie showed her worst. She was always self-assured, but if she could not achieve something by herself, then she did it through Ablyazov, behind the backs of others”, her ex-colleague stated.

“Because of her efforts, the bank lost three of its most promising women professionals. Botagoz constantly subjected them to her sarcasm and ridicule. You know how women are susceptible to such comments. She was both contemptuous and self-indulgent in her communications with her colleagues”, said our source.

“In her colleagues she saw only limitations. She appeared envious and vindictive, the type who sincerely believes that the whole world owes her. The successes of others led her into a rage. She always and everywhere wanted to be the first, no matter whether there was any reason for this”, emphasised our interlocutor.

“But worst of all, she frankly hated all Kazakh traditions: she even considered our language to be second-rate. Her hatred of Islam almost reached the level of hysteria. I will give one example. In 2006, BTA Bank attracted loans from Arab banks in framework of the Islamic finance program. Jardemalie, as always, was against it, although this issue was not within her competency at all. But her mood was bellicose! At each meeting, she conducted a campaign against illiteracy program on the risks of introducing Islamic finance in Kazakhstan.

We were embarrassed by this display by our lawyer in front of our Arab partners. Eventually, we were able to persuade Ablyazov to exclude her from the negotiation process with the Arabs. It was difficult, because Mukhtar strongly trusted her opinion …” it was stated.
“This behaviour, her attitude to colleagues, her closeness to Ablyazov, these are the only reasons she is remembered at BTA to this day”, our contact summed up.

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