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Italian interior minister faces no-confidence vote over Kazakh deportation

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Italian interior minister faces no-confidence vote over Kazakh deportation


Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano faces a no-confidence vote on Friday amid a furore over the hasty deportation of a Kazakh dissident’s family the government accepts was illegal.

The UN and international human rights groups have condemned the deportation. The interior minister denies knowing about it but his chief of staff resigned saying he had been told.

Fears that the no-confidence vote could threaten Italy’s coalition eased when the centre-left Democratic Party agreed to back the beleaguered minister.

A group of senators from the party had urged it to join the opposition in voting against him.

The prospect of another political crisis prompted Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano to warn against endangering the government.

“The consequences for us, on our international relationships and on the financial markets would be immediate and could be unrecoverable. It’s therefore indispensable, in the general interest, to keep carrying out the government’s goals,” he said.

Mukhtar Ablyazov described his wife and six-year-old daughter’s deportation as a Kazakh state-organised kidnapping. They were detained in May in a raid by Italian police on a Rome villa.

It brought speculation that Italy was trying to curry favour with the oil-rich country. Ablyazov, a former Kazakh energy minister and banker who became an opponent of President Nazarbayev, is wanted there on fraud and organised crime charges.

He was granted political asylum by Britain in 2011 but sentenced to 22 months in jail in the UK the following year for contempt of court. His whereabouts are unknown.

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