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Kazakh Report: August 28, 2002


28 August 2002

PAVLODAR OBLAST COURT STARTS REVIEWING ZHAQIYANOV'S CASE
On August 28, the Pavlodar Oblast Court started reviewing the case of former Pavlodar Oblast governor Ghalymzhan Zhaqiyanov, who is one of the leaders of the movement Kazakhstan's Democratic Choice. Zhaqiyanov appealed the sentence of seven years imprisonment which the court handed down on August 2 on charges of abuse of power and embezzlement that Zhaqiyanov and his associates say were politically motivated.

Zhaqiyanov's press secretary Nurlan Zholdasov told RFE/RL by phone that parliament deputies Serikbolsyn Abdildin (leader of Kazakh Communists), Tolen Toqtasynov and Zauresh Battalova, Kazakhstan's United Democratic Party co-chairman Piotr Svoik, and officials from the Greek and US Embassies in Kazakhstan were present at the session. Zhaqiyanov was not in the court room. He is being held in Pavlodar Preliminary Detention Center. Journalists were not allowed to use recording equipment in the court room.

KAZAKH PRESIDENT MERGES MINISTRIES, MAKES NEW APPOINTMENTS
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev issued decrees on August 28 appointing Zeynolla Khakimzhanov, formerly the Minister of State Revenues, to the new post of Minister of Finance and State Revenues, a new ministry that combines two previous ministries. Alexander Pavlov, who was Finance Minister, was named first deputy prime minister. Another decree established a Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning based on former the Economy Ministry. First Deputy Finance Minister Qayrat Kelimbetov was named to head the new ministry.

The new ministry will be responsible for planning the budget, while the Finance Ministry is responsible for implementing it. In another change, the Ministry of Economy and Trade was renamed the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Mazhit Esenbayev remains head of this ministry.

COMPATRIOTS PARTY HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE
Members of the "Sootechestvenniki" (Compatriots) Party held a press conference in Almaty on 28 August at which they announced that Zhaqsybay Bazylbayev, one of the party's leaders, will be the party's candidate to Kazakh Parliament's Upper Chamber (Senate). The Compatriots Party was established in July and its original name was the "Russkaya Partiya" (Russian Party). The founders of the party are prominent representatives of Russian diaspora in Kazakhstan. Zhaqsybayev is an ethnic Kazakh. Registration for the polls ends on September 17.

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