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Kazakh Report: May 2, 2002


2 May 2002

KAZAKH COMMUNIST LEADER DEMANDS EXPLANATION FROM PROSECUTOR GENERAL
Communist Party of Kazakhstan leader and Mazhilis deputy Serikbolsyn Abdildin announced at a parliament session on May 2 that he has sent an official query to Prosecutor General Rashid Tusupbekov asking him to give precise details of the Swiss bank accounts that reportedly belong to President Nursultan Nazarbayev and other top officials and members of their families.

Abdildin said he has received a letter from the Swiss Prosecutor General confirming that investigations of several Kazakh accounts at Swiss banks are under way. He gave no further details, citing Swiss laws on criminal investigations. Only the Prosecutor General of Kazkahstan has right to obtain such information. Abdildin asked Tusupbekov to obtain the relevant information and to make it available to all Kazakh Parliament deputies.

The Swiss authorities froze several bank accounts allegedly belonging to top officials, including President Nazarbayev, a couple of years ago. According to some sources, large sums of money may have been transferred to those accounts as bribes by major western oil companies. Abdildin says that Kazakh officials should do all they can to return those funds to the Kazakh economy.

KAZAKH-UZBEK BORDER DELIMITATION TALKS FAIL
Nurlan Seitzhapparov, who heads the Kazakh delegation to the Kazakh-Uzbek commission on border delimitation, told journalists on 2 May that the latest meeting of the commission has ended without achieving any concrete results. The main issue discussed was two villages, Baghys and Turkestanets, located on the Kazakh-Uzbek border. The two villages are populated mainly by ethnic Kazakhs. In late December 2001, about 2,000 residents of Baghys proclaimed an independent Kazakh Baghys Republic in a bid to focus the attention of both the Kazakh and Uzbek governments on the problems arising from the lack of clarity about the village's status.

SEVERAL POLITICAL PARTIES EXPRESS CRITICIZE RUSSIAN PARTY OF KAZAKHSTAN
Members of the Azat and Azamat parties and of the "Future Generation's Destiny - Education" and Pokoleniye (Generation) movements and the Union of Uighur Organizations gathered at the National Press Club in Almaty on May 2. They openly criticized the leaders of the recently created Russian Party (Russkaya Partiya). They pointed out that there are representatives of over 130 ethnic groups living in Kazkahstan currently, arguing that "In the event that all the ethnic groups form their own parties, such as Korean, Uighur, Dungan or German parties, there will be chaos in the country." The Russian Party was officially registered by the Justice Ministry last month.

ALL-REPUBLICAN CULTURE PROGRAM ANNOUNCED
Prominent Kazakh writer and World War II veteran Qasym Qaysenov, singer Bibigul Tolegenova, and the head of Kazakhstan's Culture Committee, Bekbolat Tleukhan, announced at a press conference in Astana that a special culture program called "Elim Mening - My Nation" will take place soon. It will be devoted to the 10th anniversary of Kazakh National Army, which is expected to be marked on May 8. Special audio-tapes will be distributed among military units and new military marching songs will be introduced.

IRBIS-TV CHANNEL CONTINUES FACING PROBLEMS
Amangeldy Zhaqsybayev, who is the director of Irbis-TV Channel, told RFE/RL on 2 May that his channel continues to encounter problems. The Pavlodar City Court ruled last winter to suspend the channel's operations for three months after it tried to cover demonstrations held by supporters of former Pavlodar Oblast governor Ghalymzhan Zhaqiyanov.

Irbis is scheduled to resume broadcasting on 19 May, but Zhaqsybayev said that he has received a letter from the local authorities saying that a local architect has ruled that the TV antenna used to broadcast Irbis-TV's programs should be removed. According to Zhaqsybayev, such a decision must have been politically motivated.

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