Cablegate Chronicles: Private Concerts With the Stars

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This is an installment from our on-going series on the adventures of American diplomats and the people they monitor. The red button below will take you to another random episode.

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In 2007, President Nazarbayev's son-in-law, Timur Kulibayev, celebrated his 41st birthday with a concert.


FROM: ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN
TO: STATE DEPARTMENT
DATE: APRIL 17, 2008
CLASSIFICATION: SECRET
SEE FULL CABLE

------------------------------- Private Concerts with the Stars -------------------------------
¶7. (C) In 2007, President Nazarbayev's son-in-law, Timur Kulibayev, celebrated his 41st birthday in grand style. At a small venue in Almaty, he hosted a private concert with some of Russia's biggest pop-stars. The headliner, however, was Elton John, to whom he reportedly paid one million pounds for this one-time appearance. (Note: The British Ambassador relayed a slightly different story, with an unknown but obviously well-heeled friend arranging and paying for Sir Elton's gig. End Comment.) There have been separate reports that Nelly Furtado performed at the August 2007 birthday bash for Kulibayev's wife, Dinara Nazarbayeva. Kulibayev also appears willing to spend his fortune on others. According to Turkish diplomat Isik, when the Kempinski group recently built luxury villas in Bodrum, Turkey, Kulibayev bought up a number of them -- at a cost of 4-5 million dollars each -- and doled them out as gifts to friends and family.

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