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Originally published Monday, July 11, 2011 at 6:51 AM

Austria: ex-Kazakh diplomat probed over killings

Austrian officials say a former top Kazakh diplomat is being investigated on suspicion of murder and kidnapping.

The Associated Press

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VIENNA —

Austrian officials say a former top Kazakh diplomat is being investigated on suspicion of murder and kidnapping.

A Kazakh court last month charged Rakhat Aliyev with murdering two bankers. The estranged former son-in-law of Kazakhstan's president has sought political asylum in Austria.

Austrian prosecutor Thomas Vecsey said Monday the current investigation is preliminary and that any trial would be held in Austria.

In 2008, a Kazakh court convicted Aliyev of trying to overthrow his government and kidnapping the two bankers in 2007 during a commercial dispute. It sentenced him to 40 years in prison.

He was dismissed as ambassador to Austria in 2007 after accusing Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev of totalitarianism.

Aliyev says he is innocent.

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