In 2008, according to court documents, Mr Ishmuratov advised Ms Nazarbayeva to set up the Alsarah Foundation, in Liechtenstein, “through which her funds were held and would protect and disguise her interest”.
By June 2008, Ms Nazarbayeva “agreed orally” with Mr Ishmuratov to entrust an initial $150,000,000 capital to him and Mr Korotkov-Koganovich, transferring the cash to Marstock Ltd, a company the wealth managers had registered in the British Virgin Islands.
This was the first of several large transfers from Ms Nazarbayev to the pair, eventually totalling $312m.
Ms Nazarbayev claimed that Mr Ishmuratov advised her that as a politically exposed person she wouldn’t be able to open a bank account and to get around the problem should simply buy a bank instead.
Allegedly on his recommendation, Ms Nazarbayeva directed Mr Ishmuratov to invest $108m in CBH Bank, an exclusive Swiss private bank, in return for a 51 per cent shareholding.
Her cash was also put into bonds, investment funds – including a London-based wine fund boasting valuable 18th and 19th century cognacs – and an Essex-based loans company aimed at borrowers with poor credit records.