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Kazakh Report: January 22, 2002


22 January 2002

KAZAKH PARLIAMENT DISCUSSED POSSIBLE AMENDMENTS TO LAW ON CREATION OF FREE ECONOMIC ZONE IN ASTANA
The Budget and Finance Committee of the Mazhilis (the lower chamber of Kazakhstan's parliament) has discussed possible changes to the law on creating a free economic zone in Astana. Deputy Minister of State Revenues Nurlan Rakhmetov outlined new dates and plans for the construction of buildings and shopping centers along Esil river in Astana, which will be the center of the new free economic zone.

NEW WOMEN'S ORGANIZATION ESTABLISHED IN ALMATY
The founding ceremony of a new women's organization called Moldir (Transparency) took place in Astana on January 22. The new organization is based on the so-called Women's Association of Astana. Lazzat Eskendir-Qyzy was named as its leader.

NEW AIRPORT IN ALMATY WILL START FUNCTIONING IN AUGUST THIS YEAR.
Gabiden Qayimsultanov of Almaty City administration told journalists on 22 January that Almaty's new airport will start functioning in August 2002. The old Almaty airport was totally destroyed by fire in 1998. Reconstruction began the same year, but Qayimsultanov failed to specify how much it has cost. Almaty Mayor Victor Khrapunov told journalists last month that in all, about $46 million would be spent on rebuilding the airport.

FRIENDS AND RELATIVES OF MURDERED CHAIRMAN OF KAZAKH STATE ARCHIVE EXPRESS CONCERN
Friends and relatives have expressed concern about the mysterious circumstances surrounding the murder last week of Kazakh State Archive chairman Marat Hasanayev. Hasanayev, who had held that post for 19 years, was shot dead in his apartment by unknown persons on 17 January. His deputy, Galina Vorotyntseva, decided to break down the sealed door of Hasanayev's office three days after his death, but relatives and friends of Hasanayev said that investigations of the murder are underway and that it is too early to do so.

Officials of Kazakh Ministry of Culture, Information and Social Concord told journalists on 18 January that Hasanayev's death might have been just a robbery case. They said that Hasanayev had sold one of his apartments in Almaty for $24,000 recently and that the alleged robbers might have been after that money.

Meanwhile Hasanayev's wife Zhumakhan Nurmambetova told RFE/RL that tensions had recently arisen between her husband and Kazakh Minister of Culture, Information and Social Concord Mukhtar Qul-Mukhammet.

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