Kazakh public and political figures demand that together with Swiss Prosecutor-General’s Office, Kazakh Prosecutor-General’s Office should conduct its own investigations into the corruption case of Timur Kulibayev. In an address to Kazakh Prosecutor-General Kayrat Mami, signed by 106 people, they say that no state body in Kazakhstan, including the financial police had reacted to charges brought by the Swiss prosecutor’s office against Kulibayev. It turned out that the Prosecutor-General’s Office was unaware of the charges. The also demand that President Nazarbayev should give his own assessment of his son-in-law. The following is the text of address entitled: “Kulibayev must resign and be detained for interrogation!” published by pro-opposition Kazakh newspaper Zhas Alash on 14 December; original subheading has been retained:
An address on behalf of citizens and non-governmental organization to Kazakh Prosecutor-General Kayrat Mami.
The Prosecutor-General’s Office of the Swiss Confederation has instituted a criminal case against Timur Kulibayev, a Kazakh citizen and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s son-in-law, and his partner Arvind Tiku. According to preliminary information, they are accused of misappropriation of money. We have no doubt that these crimes were committed on the territory of Kazakhstan.
There were such accusations prior to this one in relation to the president’s son-in-law. However, the Agency for Fighting Economic Crimes and Corruption [the financial police] of Kazakhstan did nothing about them. Other state bodies, including the Prosecutor-General’s Office, said nothing either. If something happened with other officials, these bodies would immediately act against them. For example, [former] Health Minister Zhaksylyk Doskaliyev was immediately arrested [on corruption charges] and relieved of his post. However, the charges brought against him cannot possibly be compared with the charges brought against Timur Kulibayev. Judging by this, it seems that no law is applicable to the son-in-law of our country’s president and he is a kind of unique figure standing beyond legislation.
In 2001, the democratic society of the country raised a scandal, which was called Kazakhgate, and the corrupt activities of senior officials in relation to illegal operations of Kazakhstan’s oil, to an international level. At that time, a letter with such a content, signed by 33 well-known political and public figures, was sent to the US Justice Department and Congress. Although, about a decade has passed since then, we have noticed that this problem has been getting worse, let alone finding a decision to it. Switzerland has started another scandalous case, in which again members of President Nazarbayev’s family are involved, but the country is silent – state bodies and the president himself pretend that they know nothing about it. This deja vu gives rise to a number of legal questions in the run-up to the 19th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence [16 February]. Is this independence needed to turn President Nazarbayev’s relatives into the wealthiest and influential people in the country?
Is the independence needed for the deceived shareholders and debtors to carry out ineffective fight with the government to solve their housing problems, at a time when the Swiss prosecutor’s office charges the president’s son-in-law with the misappropriation of over 100m euros and the president’s daughter buys villas for over 100m euros and wallows in luxury?
Is it needed for the president’s grandson to drive a 400,000-dollar car at a time when the average wage in the country is 300-400 dollars?
Is it needed for the president’s grandsons to study in the United Kingdom and our sons to receive education at home?
Is it needed for our elderly people to pass away in dilapidated hospitals and for the president and his close relatives to receive treatment in well-known hospitals in Europe?
Is it needed for judges to pass verdicts not on legal grounds, but on the instructions from the top or depending on your pocket?
Is it needed for each of us to hide what we think about and murmur in the kitchen?
Then what for did we fight for our independence? Did we fight to find ourselves in this situation?
We believe in the opposite. In our opinion, the authorities should work not for themselves only, but the authorities should work for the entire nation.
We believe that in order to prove that the Kazakh Prosecutor-General’s Office serves the people, not only should it help the investigations launched by the Swiss Prosecutor-General’s Office, but it should also launch its own investigations into the case. This investigation should be conducted strictly in compliance with the demands of the Kazakh legislation and the constitution, without reacting to Kulibayev’s relatives and his relations on the top.
We demand that full information be given in the country as to the launch of the criminal case and the course of the investigations and Timur Kulibayev himself be relieved of his state post till the end of the investigations.
We also think that President Nazarbayev should give his own assessment in relation to his second son-in-law because the son-in-law also, like those who signed the address below, is a Kazakh citizen.
[Signed by] Serikbolsyn Abdildin, former first secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan;
Gaziz Aldamzharov, the first secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan;
Vladimir Kozlov, the leader of the Alga! [Forward!] party;
Aysulu Kadyrbayeva, Kuretamyr [Jugular Vein] public fund and a member of the Writers’ Union of Kazakhstan;
Zhasaral Kuanyshalin, Zhasa Azattyk! [Long Live Freedom!] public association;
Bakyt Tumenova, Amansaulyq [Safety-and-Soundness] public fund, and others, a total of 106 people signed.
The Prosecutor-General’s Office knows nothing
The Swiss Prosecutor-General’s Office is known to have charged Timur Kulibayev and his business partner Arvind Tiku with misappropriation of 600m dollars. During the investigations, Swiss prosecutors are planning to reveal corruption crimes of their associates, too. However, it turned out that the Kazakh Prosecutor-General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry do not know that the criminal case has been instituted against the son-in-law.
Sergey Dospolov, the head of the department for international cooperation of the Prosecutor-General’s Office, says that the Kazakh Prosecutor-General’s Office has received no official letter from Switzerland. Even if such a letter were received, it would provide no grounds for launching a criminal case against Kulibayev. We will check in Kazakhstan what they (the Swiss Prosecutor-General’s Office – editor) have in hand. If they give us some information, only after that one can talk about launching a criminal case, he says. If the Kazakh prosecutor’s office does not confirm the information, but the Swiss prosecutors have the facts of criminal case in their hands, they will not close the case, they will continue investigations. Dospolov assured us that if the Swiss prosecutor’s office asks for some information, the Kazakh Prosecutor-General’s Office will look for it and if it finds some materials, it will immediately pass them over to Switzerland.
According to an interview given by lawyer Bruno de Pri [name untraced] to Golos Respubliki newspaper, the investigations will possibly end with the confiscation of illegally privatized assets and properties and returning them to Kazakhstan. If one is to believe in the words of the lawyer, the Swiss prosecutor’s office has specific evidences and witnesses.
[Description of Source: Almaty Zhas Alash in Kazakh — Privately-owned opposition-minded twice-weekly newspaper; URL: http://www.zhasalash.kz/ ]