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Kazakh Report: April 11, 2002

11 April 2002

The secretaries of the National Security Councils of six CIS countries -- namely Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan -- started the fourth gathering of the CIS's Collective Security Treaty in Almaty today. The secretaries of the Security Councils of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine are reportedly taking part in the gathering as observers. Russian Security Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo held brief talks with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev just before the beginning of the session. Rushailo told journalists after the talks that he and the Kazakh leader had discussed further perspectives for the treaty.

According to Rushailo, the security of the CIS in general and that of Central Asia in particular depends upon the effectiveness of joint efforts against illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and international terrorism. He added that "doors of the Treaty on Collective Security are open to any country of the former Soviet bloc." Rushailo also said that "Western colleagues had assured CIS states that the presence of NATO troops in Central Asia was temporary."

The session is expected to continue its work tomorrow.

Former Pavlodar Oblast Governor Ghalymzhan Zhaqiyanov, who was taken from his apartment in Almaty where he had been under house arrest since last weekend by OMON soldiers and policemen yesterday, is being kept in one of the barracks belonging to Pavlodarsol company in Pavlodar, north Kazkahstan (see "Kazakh News," 10 April 2002). His relatives and lawyers were informed yesterday by police that Zhaqiyanov would be kept under house arrest in the apartment at 325 Karl Marx Street in Pavlodar.

But it turned out that there was no building with that number in that street in Pavlodar. Instead there was a big garbage dump found in that spot. Zhaqiyanov's lawyers say that Qarylghash Zhaqiyanova, Zhaqiyanov's wife, had not been allowed to visit her husband and that Zhaqiyanov's health had deteriorated. Police did not allow him to get his belongings and things before his transfer to Pavlodar yesterday, although it was reportedly clear that he had heart problems.

The Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan issued an official statement according to which, the decision on Zhaqiyanov's transfer to Pavlodar had been made due to his behavior. The behavior of Zhaqiyanov hindered investigations into his case, according to the ministry's statement. For example, Zhaqiyanov's frequent meetings with representatives of foreign embassies in Almaty were reportedly mentioned in the statement. The statement also said that a high-ranking representative of the French Embassy in Kazakhstan had spent over one hour in Zhaqiyanov's apartment in Almaty. According to the ministry, that was against all regulations on criminal investigations.

Zhaqiyanov is officially accused of abuse of power and financial mishandling allegedly committed while he was governor of Pavlodar Oblast. In order to avoid possible arrest, Zhaqiyanov spent six days in the French Embassy in Almaty last week. According to him, all the accusations against him are politically motivated. Zhaqiyanov is a leading member and cofounder of the Democratic Choice for Kazakhstan movement, which has openly challenged Nazarbaev's regime.