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Kazakh Report: December 28, 2001


28 December 2001

CENTRAL ASIAN PRESIDENTS END TALKS IN TASHKENT
The Presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan held talks in Tashkent on 27-28 December on regional security, the situation in Afghanistan and mutual economic cooperation. Presidents Nursultan Nazarbayev, Askar Akayev, Emomali Rahmonov and Islam Karimov signed a joint communique calling on all the Central Asian states to cooperate in the struggle against terrorism. President Nazarbayev is expected to return to Kazakhstan later on 28 December.

ASSOCIATES OF FORMER PAVLODAR GOVERNOR UNDER PRESSURE
The former Governor of Pavlodar Oblast, Ghalymzhan Zhaqiyanov, told RFE/RL correspondents on that his former deputies Aleksandr Ryumkin and Sergei Gorbenko have been detained by police and interrogated. Both Ryumkin and Gorbenko used to work at the Pavlodar Oblast administration while Zhaqiyanov was governor. He was sacked from that position in November after a political stand-off with President Nazarbayev's son-in-law Rakhat Aliyev.

Zhaqiyanov said Ryumkin has been hospitalized after a nervous breakdown and heart problems caused by interrogations conducted by local policemen earlier this week. Gorbenko is in jail currently. Zhaqiyanov says that his former colleagues are under pressure because of their support for the movement Kazakhstan's Democratic Choice which Zhaqiyanov co-founded with several other young Kazakh officials and politicians.

ALMATY COMMUNISTS HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE
Communists in Almaty led by Arsentii Apolimov held a press conference on December 28 at which they harshly criticized newly established political parties and movements in Kazakhstan. They argued that even though almost all the new political parties call themselves democratic, the majority of them are far away from real democracy.

MAJOR BUSINESS IN KOKSHETAU IN TROUBLE
One of the major private companies in Kokshetau, North Kazakhstan, the Kokshetau-Business Open Joint Stock Company, started facing problems this week. The local prosecutor's office sued the company's owners for allegedly selling 5,000 tons of gasoline illegally. In general, the company is said to have earned over $6 million illegally. A criminal investigation is under way.

KAZAKH PROSECUTOR GENERAL FOCUSES ON ILLEGAL EXPORTS
On December 27, Kazakhstan's Prosecutor General Rashid Tusupbekov convened a meeting in Astana attended by Interior Minister Bolat Iskhakov, Justice Minister Igor Rogov, Minister of State Revenues Zeynolla Khakimzhanov and other officials to discuss illegal metal and wheat exports. Tusupbekov said that in the first 10 months of this year, 547 cases of metal smuggling from Kazakhstan had been registered and 4,718 lawsuits were filed against the persons involved. During the same period of time wheat from Kazakhstan valued at 700 million Tenges ($4.67 million) was illegally sold abroad. It was decided at the session to send a written recommendation to the cabinet to improve control over metal and wheat producing facilities.

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