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15 Civ. 5345 (AJN)(SN)






Videotaped oral deposition of KENES RAKISHEV, taken pursuant to notice, was held at the law offices of BLANK ROME LLP, The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York, commencing October 11, 2017, 10:05 a.m., on the above date, before Leslie Fagin, a Court Reporter and Notary Public in the State of New York.


320 West 37th Street

New York, New York 10026

(866) 624-6221













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2          APPEARANCES:



Attorneys         for Plaintiffs

5          575 Lexington Avenue, 7th      Floor

New York, New York 10022

6          BY:       DANIEL G. BOYLE, ESQUIRE





9 Attorneys for Defendant Triadou SPV SA The Chrysler Building

10        405 Lexington Avenue

New York, New York 10174-0208



13        HOGUET NEWMAN REGAL & KENNEY, LLP Attorneys for Defendants Viktor Khrapunov and

14        Ilyas Khrapunov

10 East 40th Street

15        New York, New York 10016




18        ALSO PRESENT:


Robert Steinkopf, Videographer


21        Elana Pick, Russian Interpreter,













THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We are now on the record.        

This begins DVD No. 1 in the deposition of Kenes Rakishev in the matter of City of Almaty v. Mukhtar Ablyazov, et al., in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York.  

Today is Wednesday October 11, 2017. The time is 10:05 a.m. 

This deposition is being taken at 405 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York at the request of Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney LLP.     

The videographer is Robert Steinkopf of Magna Legal Services and the court reporter is Leslie Fagin of Magna Legal Services. Will counsel and all parties present state their appearance and who they represent.

MR. CURLEY: John Curley, Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney for defendants, Viktor and Ilyas Khrapunov.

MR. KENNEY: John Kenney from the same firm, also for the Khrapunovs.         

MS. MICHAELSON: Robyn Michaelson, Blank Rome on behalf of Triado.

MR. SCHWARTZ: Matthew Schwartz and Dan Boyle on behalf of the City ofm Almaty, Kazakhstan and В ТА Bank, JSC. Let me just note for the record, before we get started, that defendant, Mukhtar Ablyazov, has been provided notice of his deposition and invited to participate and has apparently declined to.      

And let me also say that on behalf of the plaintiffs, we are designating this deposition confidential under the protective order that's in place in this case.   

MS. PICK: Elana Pick, Russian interpreter, Transperfect.

ELANA PICK, was duly sworn to interpret the questions from English into Russian, and the answers from Russian into English.     

            КENES RAKISHEV, called as a witness, having been duly sworn by a Notary Public, was examined and testified through the interpreter as follows:            

            EXAMINATION BY

            MR. CURLEY:               

            Q.         Good morning, Mr. Rakishev.  

            A.         Good morning.

            Q.         I understand that you've been speaking informally this morning. Would you prefer that we conduct this deposition in Russian?              

            A.         Yes, I would like to have that. 

            Q.         Have you ever been deposed before? 

            A.         No.     

            Q.         So allow me very briefly to go through a few of the sort of procedural rules that go along with being deposed in the United States.                     

            A.         That's fine, absolutely.            

Q.         Do you understand that you are under oath this morning?                  

            A.         I do, of course.

            Q.         I will do my best to ask clear questions, but if I, for some reason, ask a question that you don't understand or that you can't answer in the way that I've posed it, please just ask me to clarify the question, is that okay?        

            A. That's fine.  

            Q. If you don't ask me to clarify a question, I will go ahead and assume that you           understand what I asked, is that fair?     

            MR. SCHWARTZ: Objection.     

            A. Okay.          

            MR. SCHWARTZ: When I object, unless I tell you not to answer, you should go ahead and answer his question.   

            Q. Mr. Rakishev, I understand that you are a busy man. I don't intend to take up too much of your time today. We will probably take periodic breaks as we go along, but if at any time you need to take a break for any reason, just ask to take a break and we will stop the deposition. The only exception to that is I would ask you to wait until - strike that.     

            What I would ask you to answer any pending questions before you ask to take a break, is that okay?                              

            A.         Everything is understood.       

            Q.         Terrific. Mr. Rakishev, can you tell me your current job?

            A.         I'm chairman of the board BTA Bank.   

            Q.         And how long have you been chairman of the board of BTA Bank?                   

            A.         Approximately starting from 2014.     

            Q.         Do you remember approximately when in 2014 you became chairman of BTA Bank?   

            A.         Approximately beginning of 2014.      

            Q.         Prior to your becoming chairman of В ТА Bank, did you have any other affiliation with BTA Bank?

            MR. SCHWARTZ: Objection. Go ahead, you can answer, if you understand.                  

            A.         Would you please explain or clarify, what do you mean by affiliated or affiliation?      

            Q.         I would be happy to. Let me ask a more precise question instead. Before you became chairman of BTA Bank in approximately the beginning of 2014,   did you have any position with BTA Bank?        

            A. Well, I didn't have any position at all with the BTA Bank prior to that.          

            Q. Prior to your becoming chairman of BTA Bank in approximately the beginning of 2014, were you an investor in BTA Bank?      

            MR. SCHWARTZ: Objection.     

            A. Do I have to answer the question if my attorney objects? What am I supposed to do?          

            MR. SCHWARTZ: When I object, because there is no judge here, I'm objecting for the record, so that, if necessary, a judge can rule on it later, but when I object, as long as you    understand the question, you should go ahead and answer it, unless I specifically tell you not to.

            THE WITNESS: Okay. Understood.       

            MR. SCHWARTZ: And I won't be shy if I'm telling you not to answer.    

            A. So answering to the question that was asked of me before, I want to say that I was not an investor prior to that time with       the BTA Bank.  

            Q. At the time that you became chairman of BTA Bank in approximately the beginning of 2014, did you also become an  investor in BTA Bank?  

            MR. SCHWARTZ: Objection.     

            A. In the end of 2013, I signed an agreement to buy stock in the BTA Bank and as a result of it, I have become, later on,   chairman of the board of the BTA Bank.        

            Q. Mr. Rakishev, did you, in fact, buy stock in BTA Bank as a result of the agreement that you signed at the end of 2013?

            A. Yes. We did sign an agreement in 2013, in December of 2013, and pursuant to that agreement, I did buy stock in the BTA Bank.          

            Q. How much stock did you buy n BTA Bank as a result of that agreement in December of 2013?

            A. I can be mistaken with the exact numbers, meaning, the number of shares, but, approximately, it was a half, it was 50 percent of the entire stock of the BTA Bank. It could be a little bit more or a little bit less, I can be mistaken here.

            Q.         Who was the seller of the stock that you bought at the end of 2013?

            A.         The company, Samruk Kazyna, and this company owned 100 percent, in fact, of the BTA Bank, again, approximately.

            Q. Are you referring to the Kazakhstan Sovereign Wealth Fund?

            A.         Yes, that is correct.

            Q.         In December of 2013, when you agreed to buy approximately half the stock of BTA Bank, did anyone else buy the other half of BTA's stock at that time?

            MR. SCHWARTZ: Objection.

            A.         This information is actually from Open Sources. It was an open tender conducted by the Government of Kazakhstan and the decision was made to sell all financial assets that the state owned. Prior to that, there were sales of such banks as Alliance -- Allianz, later on Temir Bank was sold and then the BTA's turn came and that's why the stock was sold during the open tender. So answering your question, I would say that we made an agreement with one other participant of the tender and the name of it is Kazkommertsbank to buy based on 50/50, the stock of BTA Bank. Am I answering your question, sir.

            Q.         I think so. I just want to ask one follow-up. So is it correct then in 2013, you agreed to buy approximately half the stock of BTA Bank and Kazkommertsbank agreed to buy the other      half of BTA stock?

            A.         Yes.

            Q.         Mr. Rakishev, do you have any role in Kazkommertsbank?       

            MR. SCHWARTZ: Presently?

            Q.         Withdrawn. Do you presently have any role in Kazkommertsbank?     

            A.         As of today, I am relieved of my position as chairman of the board of directors of Kazkommertsbank.     

            Q. When were you relieved of your position as chairman of the board of Kazakhstan Commerce Bank?   

            A. I believe it was approximately two months ago. I can be mistaken with this timeframe, but, approximately, yes.         

            Q. Why were you relieved of your position as chairman of the board of Kazkommertsbank?     

            A. Because I sold my stock in the Kazkommertsbank to another investor.        

            Q. Who is the investor that you sold your Kazkommerts stock to?        

            A. Is this question relevant to the case in hand?

            MR. SCHWARTZ: That's a good  question.        

            Q. Mr. Rakishev, I don't mean any disrespect.  

            A. No problem.

            Q. But I'm going to ask the questions and you can answer them or unless your attorney directs you not to answer them.

            A. Actually, you can read about this in Open Sources. It was an open deal and the deal was made based on market terms.          

            Q. Mr. Rakishev, who was the investor that you sold your Kazkommertsbank stock to?

            A. Let me reiterate that all this information can be easily found on Open Sources. You can read about that openly and I suggest that we would concentrate on the case that we are here for and that is the case with the BTA Bank. There is nothing other than that here.       

            Q. Mr. Rakishev, I don't want to            belabor this, but I do need an answer to my question. Who is the investor you sold your Kazkommertsbank stock to?         

            A. Well, I'm not going to hide this information if this question is asked. It is Halyk Bank, H-A-L-Y-K.          

            Q. Mr. Rakishev, at the time that you bought your stock in BTA Bank at approximately the end of December or, excuse me, at the end of 2013, did you - were you chairman of the board of Kazkommertsbank at that time?              

            MR. SCHWARTZ: Objection.     

            A.         I'm not sure I understand the question Could you repeat it one more time, please.         Q.         Sure. In December 2013, you and Kazkommertsbank each bought approximately 50

percent of BTA Bank, is that correct?   

            A.         Yes, that's correct.      

            Q.         At the time of that transaction, were you chairman of the board of Kazkommertsbank?

A.         No.     

            Q.         Did you have any board position at all at Kazkommertsbank at that time?                   

            A.         No, no.

            Q.         Did you own any part of Kazkommertsbank at that time?                    

            A.         No.     

            Q.         At some point after December 2013, did you buy a part of Kazkommertsbank?

            A.         Under our agreement, the agreement between myself and Kazkommertsbank, after the sale - after the purchase of BTA Bank went through, we agreed that we will merge Kazkommerts and BTA. And as a result of it, later on, I got a share in Kazkommertsbank.   

            Q. How much did you pay for half of the stock of BTA Bank at the end of 2013?

            A. I can be a little bit mistaken with the exact numbers, but it's approximately 75 billion tenge, T-E-N-G-E, as per the exchange rate as of that point in time, it was $500 million.        

            Q. How much did Kazkommertsbank pay for half of BTA Bank at the end of 2013?       

            MR. SCHWARTZ: Objection.     

            A. I cannot tell you for sure for Kazkommertsbank, but, approximately, in my opinion, it was approximately, again, the same amount.    

            Q. So Kazkommerts paid approximately 75 billion tenge to buy half of BTA Bank at the end of 2013, is that right?

            MR. SCHWARTZ: Objection.     

            A. Well, again, this information is in Open Sources and the information was that the state sold this for approximately $1 billion.

            Q. At what point after December 2013 did Kazkommertsbank merge with BTA Bank?

A. I would say that there was no merging of these two entities in the classic concept of this term. What happened, the assets were distributed, divided, and after that, there came to be two legal entities and I can tell you that it was approximately in 2015, I'm not exactly sure and I cannot confirm that, but that's approximately when it happened.

            Q. Mr. Rakishev, when you say the assets were distributed, can you explain whose assets were distributed to whom?

            A. Partially the assets of the BTA Bank and Kazkommertsbank were divided among these two parties and it was made pursuant to the legislation of Republic of Kazakhstan and the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan was a controlling body. In this role, the National Bank made comments, I would not say comments, but as the per their regulations, the assets were divided or distributed and at that point in time, BTA Bank submitted its license as a bank and up to that, it was -- it stayed as company that managed problematic assets. And that's for Kazkommertsbank. It became a bank in classical understanding of this term and it actually took upon itself all affiliates of the bank, BTA Bank. That's how it happened, that's how the assets were swapped.

            Q. Mr. Rakishev, today, are you the majority stockholder of BTA Bank?

            A. Yes, that's what it is.

            Q. Approximately how much of BTA Bank do you own today?

            A. I would say approximately 97 percent.

            Q. You may have explained part of this already, but what happened between December of 2013 when you bought half of the bank, until today, when you own 97 percent of the bank?

            MR. SCHWARTZ: Objection.

            A. We were trying to merge, but under the latest agreement, I stayed with BTA Bank and Kazkommertsbank is now owned by a different investor.           

            Q. We can move off this in a moment, but just help me understand. In December of 2013, you paid 75 billion tenge to buy half of BTA Bank?      

            A. That's correct.         

            Q. And until approximately midway through 2017, you owned 97 percent of BTA Bank, plus half of Kazkommertsbank, is that fair?          

            MR. SCHWARTZ: Objection.     

            A. No, I do not have any ownership in Kazkommertsbank, none at all.  

            Q. You testified earlier that approximately, you owned an interest in Kazkommertsbank up until two months ago, is that right?  

            A. Yes, up to two or three months before, yes, I did have interest.       

            Q. How much interest did you have two or three months ago in Kazkommertsbank?    

            A. Again, I can be mistaken, but it was in excess of 75 percent, but at that point in time, two to three months ago, I had only 48 percent of interest in BTA Bank.

   Q. Mr. Rakishev, can you describe your education for us?

   A. Yes, of course. I graduated from the State Law Academy in Kazakhstan in the City of Almaty. I graduated in the year of 2000 and also in 2002, I graduated from the State Economy Academy and also I took a course in Oxford Business School, Oxford University Business School.

   Q. When you say you graduated from the State Law Academy, does that mean you have a law degree?

   A. As per our legislation, it's not exactly the way you are describing it. Actually, it like a foundational basic education.

   Q. Have you ever practiced law?

   A. No.

   Q. Good for you. When did you study at Oxford?

   A.         In 2007.

   Q.        Did you have a particular course of study at Oxford?

            A. Yes, it's called AMP, Advanced Management Program, AMP.

            Q.         In between your graduating from the economics academy in 2002 and studying in Oxford in 2007, did you work?

            A. Yes. After I graduated from the law academy in the year of 2000, I started working right away.

            Q.         Where did you begin work?

            A.         I worked for different entities and my main job, the job where I got my salary started with a gas sector, gas companies, gas and chemical companies.

            Q. What did you do for these gas companies?

            A. Starting in the year of 2000 after 2004, I started as a specialist. It was the entry managerial level and then I was promoted over these years to the level of vice-president of the company in 2004, so I actually went through all the stages starting from an entry level specialist and manager, then managing director, then department director and then up to vice-president.      

            Q.         Was this all one company that you fulfilled these roles?

            A.         It was a group of companies, but all those companies were part of this group of companies.                  

            Q.         What was the name of the group of companies?         

            A.         Kazmunite Gas (phonetic).      

            Q.         Did you have any ownership interest in Kazmunite Gas?                     

            A.         No.     

            Q.         So you were just an employee?

            A.         Yes. And in 2004, I made a decision to go into private sector and have my private business.                    

            Q.         So you were at Kazmunite Gas until 2004?                  

            A.         Yes.     

            Q.         What happened in 2004?       

            A.         I started working for my own business, my own company.       

            Q.         What was the name of that company? 

            A.         Sat & Co.         

            Q.         Does Sat & Co. still exist?        

            A.         Yes, and I am board chairman of this company.           

            Q.         What does Sat & Co. do?         

            A.         I have an interest in this company, I would say approximately 75 percent. It's a public company trading at Kazakhstan Stock Exchange     and it is involved in various investments starting from the mining project, machine industry, financial sector, and different kinds of investment deals, Sat &Co. plays a role of managing company and  investing company.     

            Q.         You were the founder of Sat & Co.?   

            A.         Yes .    

            Q.         Did anyone else help you found Sat& Co.?                  

            A.         Yes .    

            MR. SCHWARTZ: Objection.     

            A.         I have two partners and so the three of us started that business.        

            Q.         How much did you invest in Sat &Co?  

            MR. SCHWARTZ: Objection.