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Kazakh Report: April 12, 2000


12 April 2000

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT'S SCHEDULE CHANGED.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report that U.S. State Secretary Madeleine Albright is not going to visit Almaty - Former Kazakh capital this week. She will arrive to Astana from Kiev after one-day stay in the Ukrainian capital later this week. After one day in Astana Madeleine Albright will reportedly leave for Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Forum of Kazakhstan's Democratic Forces uniting several leading opposition movements and political parties is planning to hand a letter to the U.S. State Secretary in Astana.

LEADER OF KAZAKH COMMUNISTS CALLS FOR CHANGE OF POLITICAL SYSTEM IN KAZAKHSTAN.
Serikbolsyn Abdildin - First Secretary of Kazakhstan's Communist Party told journalists at press conference held on April 11 that Kazakhstan needed drastic change of its political system, adding that the new system should be supportive for ordinary citizens of the country. He said that only 2 per cent of Kazakhstan's population might be called as rich people, 15 per cent of Kazakhstan's society represent middle class, and more than 80 per cent of Kazakhstan's population are poor, said Serikbolsyn Abdildin. He also commented the situation on the Kazakh-Uzbek border, saying that Uzbeks and Kazakhs were brother-nations and all the mutual issues should be solved by peaceful means.

VICE-CHAIRMAN OF KAZAKHSTAN'S PEOPLES ASSEMBLY COMMENTS ON BORIS NEMTSOV'S STATEMENT ON KAZAKHSTAN.
On April 12, Pavel Atrushkevich - Vice Chairman of the Kazakh Peoples Assembly commented a statement made by former Russian Premier, now representative of Russia's Rightists Forces Union at Russian Duma - Boris Nemtsov. Mr. Nemtsov said earlier this week that Russia should start discussing possibility to impose economic and other sanctions against Kazakhstan in order to "protect rights of Russian speakers in Kazakhstan". Pavel Atrushkevich told journalists that Boris Nemtsov had never been to Kazakhstan and had no idea about real situation in the country he was trying to criticize.

TRIAL OF AKEZHAN KAZHEGELDIN'S FORMER BODYGUARDS CONTINUES.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report that trial of Piotr Afanasenko and Satzhan Ibrayev - former bodyguards of the former Kazakh premier Akezhan Kazhegeldin continued on April 12. The issue discussed at trial's session today was about a pistol and a grenade found in a car belonging to Satzhan Ibrayev. Mr. Ibrayev's wife - Irina, told Judge that the car had been locked and sealed by officers of the Kazakh National Security Committee in November last year. Later on, when the car was unlocked, a pistol and a grenade were found in it. Irina Ibrayeva said that neither herself nor her husband had anything to do with the found weapons. Trial continues.

AKEZHAN KAZHEGELDIN'S FORMER BODYGUARDS ON TRIAL.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report that trial of Piotr Afanasenko and Satzhan Ibrayev - former bodyguards of Kazakhstan's former Prime Minister, now leader of Republican People Party - Akezhan Kazhegeldin started on April 10. The two officers and a businessman Oleg Ivkov are accused of illegal weapons keeping. The accused persons refused to admit all the accusations and said that they were politically motivated. Today, April 11, Judge of Almaty's Medeu District Court - Bakhytzhan Elshibayev continued the trial. Amirzhan Qosanov - Vice Chairman of Republican People Party's Executive Committee told correspondents of RFE/RL on 11 April that the accused Piotr Afanasenko, Satzhan Ibrayev and Oleg Ivkov were psychologically oppressed during the investigations. He also said that in many cases of the interrogations witnesses and lawyers had not been allowed to present.

ONE MORE TRIAL IN THE FORMER CAPITAL.
Almaty City Court started a trial of two gentlemen, suspected of participation in a last year assassination. Nurlan Syzdykov - Vice President of ASEMAY Private Company in Almaty, was murdered on February 16, 1999. A person with a surname Qasymov is accused of ordering the murder. Another person Nurbay Ziyabayev is suspected as a killer. Preliminary investigations said that Mr. Ziyabayev had received $10 thousand for the murder.

WORKERS OF PHOSPHORUS PRODUCING PLANT IN TARAZ ON STRIKE.
Hundreds of workers of Taraz Phosphorus Producing Plant in Southern Kazakhstan started demonstration of protest on April 11. The workers demand their overdue salaries to be paid. Local pensioners joined the action of protest and demand their pensions for the last couple of months. The information was provided to correspondents of RFE/RL by Amangeldy Suanov � Chairman of Orleu Movement's branch in Zhambyl Oblast.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT'S SCHEDULE IN KAZAKHSTAN NOT CLEAR.
U.S. State Secretary Madeleine Albright is expected to Kazakhstan this week. Correspondents of RFE/RL report that there is no exact information about her schedule in the country. It is not clear if she is going to meet representatives of Kazakhstan's opposition. According to U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan Richard Jones - Madeleine Albright will meet with all the politicians and branches of political power of Kazakhstan during her stay in Astana and Almaty.

QAZAQ ELI NEWSPAPER RESUMED FUNCTIONING.
Qazaq Eli Newspaper which stopped operations about 10 months ago due to financial difficulties, resumed functioning on February 11. Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper Bakhyt Sarbala told correspondents of RFE/RL that the newspaper had found some financial support. He did not mention the source though.

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