Who, Why and How exiled: Ataev was closely associated with former foreign minister Boris Shikhmuradov, who was imprisoned after being tortured and receiving an unfair closed trial in 2002 on charges of related to the alleged November 2002 attack on Niazov (Human Rights Watch, 2009).
Stage 1 details (accusations/ charges/ Interpol notice/ extradition requests): Criminal charges of bribery had been brought against Ataev in 2001, from events that allegedly took place between 1997 and 1998. On the 6th May 2009 while Ataev was entering Bulgaria, he received a subpoena to appear at the Varna district investigation service at passport control. As requested, on 11th May 2009 at around 10 a.m. he appeared at the Varna district investigation service. At 12:10 p.m. he was detained for 24 hours by the Varna City Police Department and held at the police detention centre. On the 20th May 2009, the Turkmenistan authorities added new charges to the original ones against Ataev (Human Rights Watch, 2009; FarganaNews, 2009).
Stage 2 details (arrest/ detention/ extradition): Ataev was held in detention, released on bail on the 15th May 2002. On the 15th June 2009 the Embassy of Turkmenistan in the Russian Federation communicated its request for Mr. Ataev's extradition to the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Russian Federation. (Human Rights Watch, 2009).
Legal status (refugee/ asylum seeker/ resident): Russian and Turkmenistan citizenship. (Human Rights Watch, 2009).
Current status: Was not extradited, though details are unknown.
Press sources: ‘Letter to Bulgarian Authorities Regarding Extradition to Turkmenistan’Human Rights Watch, 22nd July 2009.[Online]. Available at: https://www.hrw.org/news/2009/07/22/letter-bulgarian-authorities-regarding-extradition-turkmenistan Fragana.News, 27.07.2009. "Болгария может экстрадировать туркменского оппозиционера на родину". [Online]. Available at: http://www.fergananews.com/article.php?id=6244