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In Felix Sater Almaty Case Talk of Neil Bush and Kazakh Extradition Bots for Arab Spring

By Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 21 –The City of Almaty in Kazakhstan is active in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, with at least two case before SDNY Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker.

Inner City Press has covered the litigation with Felix Sater, with another proceeding coming up on August 23, 2022.

 On August 16 in a related case, cross defendant Mukhtar Ablyazov was being described as a scoff law with some sort of asylum in France. He was, in fact, on the line; he described himself at the number one political opposition leader in Kazakhstan. His adversary chided him for using the proceeding to make political speeches.

This case is City of Almaty, Kazahkstan, et al. v. Mukhtar Ablyazov, et al., 15-cv-5345 (Koeltl / Parker)

Previously before Judge Parker, Felix Sater was asked if he remembered election day 2016 as a notable day.

  It was "a notable day for all Americans," Sater replied, smiling. Moments later when the same lawyer, Matthew Lane Schwartz of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP began a question about Sater knowing it is a felony to lie, Sater shot back, YOU know it is a felony - until Judge Parker cut it off.

  Jump cut to March 24, 2022 when Sater had filed motions to extend discovery and to join Arcanum and the Republic of Kazakhstan. Judge Parker convened the parties in her 17th floor courtroom and Inner City Press was there.

Sater's lawyer said his client had initially thought this was just a garden variety commercial case.

Judge Parker said, But it's about money laundering. Is that garden variety commercial?

 Sater's lawyer emphasized that Arcanum was hired to find dirt, and that should not be covered by sovereign immunity. It emerged Sater has filed discovery requests about Robert Mueller.

  Almaty, Kazakhstan through Boies Flexner said Sater had been on notice and it is too late. Judge Parker took the motions under advisement.

On May 9 the (re-) assigned District Judge John G. Koeltl adopted the report by Magistrate Judge Parker denying Sater's request to amend and add claims against Kazakhstan and Arcanum. Full order on Patreon here.

  Back on October 7, 2020 Judge Parker held another discovery conference in the case. Inner City Press covered it. It emerged that a September 30 deposition of Sater had to be called off when he traveled to Guyana and said he had no Internet there.

Jump cut to December 20 when District Judge John G. Koetlt to whom it was reassigned when Judge Nathan was promoted to the Second Circuit set a trial date: "ORDER: As discussed at the conference held today, the trial in this matter is scheduled for June 10, 2024, at 9:00 a.m."

On May 16 in the run-up, this: "JOINT PRETRIAL ORDER The Sater Defendants do not intend to dispute many of the arguments made regarding the underlying business transactions referenced by Plaintiffs in their complaint. The position of the Sater Defendants is that the critical point of this trial will be the validity of the release. This matter can be resolved in no more than 2 (two) days of trial.

On June 10, Sater's lawyer wrote in that "Defendant Felix Sater respectfully moves in limine to preclude Plaintiffs from introducing evidence of Sater’s criminal conviction, entered 15 years ago, and relating to criminal conduct from the 1990s." Full letter on Patreon here.

Later on June 10, amid jury selection, plaintiffs insisted they want the racketeering in - while noting an earlier Sater conviction for assault. They oppose Sater being able to present information about helping the US government, Buzzfeed say he tracked Osama Bin Laden.

On June 11, after the jury was selected and the plaintiffs' opening, with Inner City Press present, defense counsel told the eight jurors - six plus two alternates - that if they find that the claims were released, or that they are time barred, Sater wins. He mocked Mr. Schwartz for showing a photo of Sater "with side glance" - at defense table Sater scoffed or laughed, or perhaps winced.

Defense counsel emphasized that Sater tried to help the plaintiffs get their money back.

On June 12, jurors were shown video of Mr. Schwartz questioning Khrapunov about Petelin paying so that his name would not appear in litigation.

On June 13, an expert was on the stand to authenticate Khrapunov's signature on a letter. Meanwhile, Judge Koeltl denied the motion for judgment on the pleadings by MeM Energy Partners.

On June 14, MeM's lawyer cross examine BTA Bank's consultant-not-lawyer, thread

On June 20, the defense case began with Sater former lawyer Robert Wolf on the stand, under subpoena.

Wolf says he socialized with Sater, family vacations together.

Sater's lawyer: I show you the Confidential Assistance Agreement [of 2015]. Who drafted it? Wolf: One of my corporate partners at Moses & SInger.

Sater's lawyer: You were aware Mr Sater did business with the Khraponovs, about US real estate?

Wolf: Yes

Meanwhile Sater submitted to the court a 2013 La Stampa Moninari interview, that "the deportations happened because the dictator of Kazakhstan wanted two hostages against his major political opponent."

On June 21, Mochkin then Sater again testified, Inner City Press was there, from the thread:

OK - now in Felix Sater case, still defendants' case. Questions about Tri-County and Syracuse projects Q: Do you understand that in this litigation you have been accused of acting as a P.R. agent for Felix Sater and others? A: I've read that.

Q: Let me read from the complaint, alleging that Mendel Mochkin was trying to drum up negative coverage of Kazakhstan  Witness: My family has had experience with totalitarians. So I put a journalist who had written about my father in contact.... Q: Kind of like your work with Neil Bush, you put people together

A: Yes.  Witness: The Italians pushed the Kazakh to repatriate the woman back to Italy. Q: Did you charge for it? Witness: No. It's what my family does. Q: And how you're being sued for that? Witness: What good deed goes unpunished? After that I got more involved in Bklyn 

Q: You live in Brooklyn with your wife and seven children, quiet, right? Witness: Felix, I could not be involved in that rollercoaster. I'm in the next phase, housing in Brooklyn.  Q: Have you been paid on the buyer and seller side before? Witness: I am not an adviser, no one likes to pay them.

Q: But when you make it rain, like on Tri-County or Syracuse, you try to get paid while it rains? Witness: We made a deal. Lawyer: I pass the witness  Now lawyer Schwartz of Boies Schiller questioning. Schwartz: Mr. Khrapanov lived in Geneva, correct? Witness: Many people do.

Schwartz: You said you have a moral duty - Defense: Objection! Mischaracterizes the testimony. Judge: Overruled.  Schwartz: ... They were in Italy on false Central African Republic passports, right? Witness: Yes, but it was later proved incorrect.

Schwartz: Other witnesses in this trial said they paid for Central African Republic passports, you are aware? Witness: No  Schwartz: Have you not been paying attention to this trial? Defense: Objection! Judge: Sustained. But don't talk over each other. It's not team-tagging. Schwartz: ... he paid a soccer player from the Central African Republic and said he was CAR's Swiss Ambassador? 

Witness: There was something going on between the the Italian government and Kazakhstan Schwartz: I understand that's your story but answer my question - didn't the Italian government rescind the order of deportation, and the Kazakh government returned them? Yes   Schwartz: You are saying the Italian government was corrupted here?

Witness: It's not my belief, it's on the Internet. Schwartz: You said the UK government was corrupted? Witness: Yes. Schwartz: You suggested an English High Court justice was bribed?  Schwartz: You tried to do business deals in Russia? Witness: I visited cemetaries.

Schwartz: Mining deals? Witness: Maybe. Schwartz: So your claimed moral - Objection! Judge: Sustained.  Schwartz: You discussed with Sater using Social Media Interference to falsely amplify certain news sources, using this company which offer avatars and "control and anticipate a social media initiated popular uprising (Arab Spring Egypt)

Witness: I forwarded that  Schwartz: You looked at deals in Kazakhstan with Neil Bush, right? Witness: Yes. Schwartz: In a deal, you want to get money out, right? Witness: What does that mean? Schwartz: If you don't know then I don't know. Witness: Yeah, I work. Judge: Just Q&A  Felix Sater is back on the stand. Sater: Chevrolet had passed away... Not the car, but a Geneva politician.

Q: On June 5, 2015 was there discussion about Elvira? Sater: Yes. I explained to Peter about her visa - it was later turned into, let's say, a movie  Sater: I explained to Peter Garsky the opportunity to put pressure on Elvira - she operated in the US. My approach was, Put pressure from every side and see what cracked. Q: You first brought up Elvira's visa problems? Sater: Yes. The guy in the video owes me

 Sater: We discusses how to squeeze lemon juice out of lemon, how Elvira's mother would react. Everything you've seen in the courtroom originated with me. Q: What is AdLux? Sater: A digital network, it broadcast to private jet areas Judge: We'll break  The week is over.

more on X for Subscribers here, Substack here

The witnesses, and some tweets from the streets, are on.

The case is City of Almaty, Kazakhstan et al v. Sater et al., 19-cv-2645 (Koeltl / Parker).



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