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Kazakh Report: July 12, 2002


12 July 2002

PROSECUTOR ASKS FOR SEVEN-YEAR JAIL SENTENCE FOR FORMER KAZAKH MINISTER
The Supreme Court of Kazakhstan continued its hearings in the case of former Trade, Energy and Industry Minister Mukhtar Abliyazov on 12 July. Abliyazov is one of the leading members of the opposition movement Democratic Choice for Kazakhstan. The prosecutor dismissed as "groundless" all Abliyazov's attempts to prove that the accusations he faces are politically motivated, adding that the charges focus on crimes Abliyazov committed while in office. He said that all the accusations put forward against Abliyazov have been proved, and asked the Supreme Court Judge to sentence Abliyazov to seven years imprisonment with confiscation of all his property. The Prosecutor also demanded that Abliyazov be made to pay over 500 million Tenges ($3.26 million) to the state treasury.

Abliyazov said again that his trial was politically motivated; he wanted to attract the Court's attention to the Ekibastuz Power plant's bankruptcy in 1999, trying to show the way how KEGOK (State Company of Energy Control) was operating in the years of 1998-1999.

KAZAKH LEADER HOLDS TALKS WITH VISITING RUSSIAN INTERIOR MINISTER
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev held talks with visiting Russian Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov in Astana on July 12. They discussed the agenda of the joint Kazakh-Russian talks on joint efforts against international terrorism, illegal migration and drugs trafficking. It was reported at a press conference after the talks that senior representatives of the internal affairs departments of the Russian and Kazakh regions along the Russo-Kazakh border will gather in the town of Oskemen, Eastern Kazakhstan, on July 15. Kazakh Interior Minister General Qayirbek Suleymenov told journalists that most illegal immigrants enter the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan from neighboring Kyrgyzstan. He added that the most of the illegal immigrants trying to reach Europe via the former Soviet Union are citizens of Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

CENTER FOR SOCIAL PROBLEMS HOLDS ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION ON LAND PRIVATIZATION
The Almaty-based Center for Studies of Social Problems held a round table discussion on 12 July of the possibility of introducing privatization of land in Kazakhstan. The issue has been under discussion by politicians and NGOs for several years. Ervin Gossen of the Kazakh National Academy of Sciences said in his report that it is too early to introduce a law on the privatization of land. He said that all the territories of Kazakhstan should first be classified and designated as desert, forest, pasture or arable land. Most participants at the discussion expressed support for that proposal.

REPUBLICAN PEOPLE'S PARTY HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE ON RECENT OSCE SESSION IN BERLIN
The chairman of the Republican People's Party of Kazakhstan Executive Committee, Amirzhan Qosanov, held a press conference in Almaty on 12 July where he reported on the recent session in Berlin of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. Qosanov was one of the delegates to the session, at which human rights and regional security in Central Asia were among the main topics of discussion. According to Qosanov, the main conclusion made at the session was that "human rights should not be affected in any way by efforts against international terrorism." Qosanov also said that exiled representatives of opposition parties and movements from all the Central Asian states were present at the session.

The Central Asian Democratic Forces Forum also held a session in Berlin at which it was decided that all opposition parties and movements of Kazkahstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will be in contact on a permanent basis. The next session of the Forum will be held in Kyrgyzstan.

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