Britain's Prince Andrew denied any special treatment for a Kazakh tycoon    2008-05-27 07:03:03    

Britain's Prince Andrew has denied any special treatment for a Kazakh tycoon paying over the estimated value for his house.
The Duke of York sold Sunninghill Park, near Ascot in Berkshire, Kenes Rakishev for £15 million - despite its estimated value being £12 million.

Now royal residence Buckingham Palace has said the prince has "totally and utterly rejected" the sale has anything to do with his role as Britain's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment and that Rakishev will not receive any special or preferential treatment as a result of the deal.

A statement for the prince's estate said: "The sale of Sunninghill Park was a straight commercial transaction, and there were no side deals and absolutely no arrangement for the Duke of York to benefit otherwise or to commit to any other commercial arrangement. Any suggestion otherwise is completely false."

Sunninghill park was a wedding gift from Queen Elizabeth to Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson in 1986, and was sold last September to an offshore company for £15 million.

Rakishev is said to have bought the property with his father-in-law, former Kazakh Prime Minister Imangali Tasmagambetov, through the company Unity Assets Corporation.

Prince Andrew has previously been praised for his progress encouraging investment in the UK from the oil rich Asian State of Kazakhstan, in his role as Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. The prince is also a patron of the British-Kazakh Society. Rakishev is head of an energy conglomerate, Sat and Co.

Sunninghill Park has been empty since the sale last September. Rumours suggest that either Rakishev will move into the property himself or will convert it into a hotel.

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