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Kazakh Report: June 4, 1999


4 June 1999

KAZAKH PARLIAMENT'S OTAN FACTION HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE.
RFE/RL correspondents report from Astana that the lower - parliamentary faction- Mezhlis - of the Otan Party, led by Mariyam Zhuyrikbayeva, held a press conference in the Kazakh capital on June 03. It was reported at the press conference that 44 members of 67�seat Mazhilis had been accepted to the Otan party. The Otan party is known as a pro�Nazarbayev political party. It was organized just after the presidential elections held in January this year. Mariyam Zhuyrikbayeva denied the data about forcing students, teachers and other citizens of Kazakhstan to become Otan party members. Meanwhile another member of the Otan party, a member of Mazhilis, Academician Orazali Sabdenov said that it would never do to force people to become members of any party. He also added that this sort of action might diminish the Party's image. Members of Otan party declined to give any comments to the question about the fact that they had been elected not as Otan party members four years ago.

FOREIGN INVESTMENTS SUMMIT IS OVER IN ALMATY.
RFE/RL correspondents report from Almaty that the International Investments Summit completed its work on 4 June in the former capital of Kazakhstan. The summit started working on June 3. President Nursultan Nazarbayev and EBRD�s Chief Horst Koebler participated in the summit. Ways of making new investments into the Kazakh economy were discussed at the summit. Also the necessity of introducing a more sophisticated and simplified taxation system to the Kazakh society was mentioned at the summit.

STATE CAMPAIGN ON GOLD AND SILVER COLLECTING STARTED.
RFE/RL correspondents report that the entire population of Kazakhstan was called upon by President Nursultan Nazarbayev to give all their golden and silver jewelry to the State treasury in order to help Kazakhstan keep its gold and hard currency depot. According to RFE/RL correspondents, in some regions, local governors decided to tax ($50) citizens who would not give any golden or silver items to the state treasury. President Nazarbayev told the Kazakhstani people that such measures had been done in South Korea recently in order to alleviate the economic and financial crisis.

KAZAKH REPATRIANTS CONTINUE TO ARRIVE TO THE HISTORIC MOTHERLAND.
20 families of the ethnic Kazakhs from Afghanistan and Pakistan arrived to Taraz City, South Kazakhstan on June 4. The re-patriated families used to live in Mazari-Sharif, North Afghanistan. During the civil war between Taliban and troops of the opposition, some of them had to escape to Pakistan in order to avoid being recruited.

SITUATION AROUND MERCURY IN PAVLODAR CITY STILL DRASTIC.
Konstantin Babkin - Press Secretary of Pavlodar Oblast�s Governor - told RFE/RL correspondents by phone that although the emergency situation that had been created from the huge amounts of processed mercury evaporation had been alleviated, the problem remained. He said that about 900 tones of mercury accumulated underground on the territory of Chemical Facility that was closed 5 years ago. About $1 billion is needed for the de-mercurization works.

FOREIGN INVESTORS COUNCIL HOLDS SESSION IN ALMATY.
RFE/RL correspondents report from Almaty that the Foreign Investors Council of Kazakhstan held its session in Almaty on June 2. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Premier Nurlan Balghymbayev, Chief of EBRD Horst Koeller and leaders of international oil and gas corporations took part in the work of the Session reportedly. Problems faced by the international companies working in Kazakhstan and investing into the Kazakh economy were discussed. President Nursultan Nazarbayev made a statement, saying that any leader of any foreign company working in Kazakhstan could easily get into contact with him personally and inform him about the problems he or she faced, especially about such cases as bribe-asking or bureaucratic obstacles being created. On 3 June, the Foreign Investments Summit started working in Almaty.

KITEL EXHIBITION IN THE FORMER CAPITAL CONTINUES.
RFE/RL correspondents report that the 6th KITEL International Exhibition KITEL continues working in the former capital. 180 companies of 25 countries dispose telecommunications devices and items at the exhibition.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE DEVOTED TO THE 500TH ANNIVERSARY OF MOHAMMED HAIDAR DULATI STARTED WORKING IN ALMATY.
According to information provided by RFE/RL stringers in Almaty, on June 3, scientists and researchers from Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and the United States gathered in Almaty in order to discuss the heritage of the prominent Turkic philosopher and thinker Mohammed Haidar Dulati, whose 500th anniversary is being marked these days under auspices of UNESCO.

TRADERS OF SAURAN MARKET ON STRIKE.
Traders of the Sauran market place in Almaty started striking on June 3. They demand that the fees market authorities collected for permission to do business in the market be paid in tenges, not in dollars. They pay $150 monthly to the market administration. Due to inflation it becomes more and more expensive to trade tenges for US dollars at the exchange points.

INVESTIGATIONS OF THE FORMER DEPUTY FINANCE MINISTER'S CASE ARE OVER.
Criminal case opened against Zhomart Muqashev - the former Deputy Finance Minister - was fully investigated and sent to court. RFE/RL correspondents report that Mr. Muqashev arrested earlier last month, is accused of financial mishandling and power misuse. Almaty City Court will decide his destiny in the nearest future.

CIS INTERIOR MINISTERS TO GATHER IN ALMATY THIS WEEK.
RFE/RL correspondents quote the Kazakh Cabinet Press Service as reporting that Interior Ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will gather in Almaty on June 4 for two days of talks. Representatives of INTERPOL and CIS anti� corruption boards will tale part in the session as well.

FORMER PREMIER AKEZHAN KAZHEGELDIN SENDS HIS U.S. LAWYER TO ALMATY.
Charles Both � an American lawyer defending the rights of former Kazakh Premier Akezhan Kazhegeldin, currently known as leader of Republican People's Party of Kazakhstan, arrived in Almaty � the former Kazakh capital, and held a press conference. According to Dr. Both, his client Akezhan Kazhegeldin had paid off all the required taxes (around 1 million tenges � $1 costs 129 tenges currently) last year. Mr. Kazhegeldin�s lawyer also said that all the accusations against Akezhan Kazhegeldin were "groundless", stressing the fact that Mr. Kazhegeldin had no property in Belgium. Kazakh National Security Committee had opened a criminal case against Akezhan Kazhegeldin accusing him of owning villas in Belgium, bought "illegally". Mr. Kazhegeldin�s lawyer, Dr. Both said today at the press conference in Almaty that the villas shown by the Kazakh authorities as Kazhegeldin�s property in the local press, belonged to children of Alimzhan Ibragimov � Executive Director of Sokolov�Sarbay Iron Ore Developing Plant in Qostanay region.

Akezhan Kazhegeldin was supposed to show up at the Kazakh Interior Ministry on June 01. Kazakh authorities had handed a special letter to Mr. Kazhegeldin�s lawyer Vitaliy Voronov earlier last month warning that Mr. Kazhegeldin had to be present at the hearings connected to his case. Akezhan Kazhegeldin�s lawyer Vitaliy Voronov asked Kazakh authorities to close the criminal case opened against his client and asking to invite him "not as an accused person, but as a witness".

Chief of the Kazakh Tax Police, President Nazarbayev�s son�in�law, Rakhat Aliyev said at press conference held today in Astana - the capital, that Akezhan Kazhegeldin had never faced up at the Tax Police for interrogations.

Kazakh authorities made a decision to postpone the hearings against Akezhan Kazhegeldin till June 8, adding that in case if he would never show up again, international search for him would begin and he would be pushed to come to Kazakhstan from abroad by force.

UYGHURS OF KAZAKHSTAN CONCERNED FOR FIVE DESTINY OF FIVE COMPATRIOTS.
RFE/RL correspondents report from Almaty that organizations and movements of ethnic Uyghurs in Kazakhstan started a campaign on defending 5 young Uyghurs detained by the Kazakh authorities for illegal crossing of the Kazakh�Chinese border. The 5 Uyghurs are seeking for opportunities to obtain political asylum status. Three ethnic Uyghurs have been returned to the Chinese authorities after their having been arrested by the Kazakh authorities for the illegal border crossing. They reportedly have been brought to trial and shot by the Chinese authorities on their returning back to Xin Jiang (Eastern Turkistan), West China. Ethnic Uyghurs of Kazakhstan announced an open letter to President Nursultan Nazarbayev calling him to prevent the five Uyghurs� excel back to China.

PRESIDENT NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV HOLDS MEETINGS IN ALMATY.
Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev met Shotaman Valikhanov � a well known Kazakh sculptor in Almaty on June 1. Shotaman Valikhanov reportedly introduced Kazakh President with projects of the new memorials and sculptures to be raised in Almaty, Astana and Omsk (Russian Siberia). The same day Kazakh President held talks with Azerbayzhan Mambetov � a famous Kazakh actor. The latter was given a proposal to run a newly opened Drama Theater in Astana � the capital.

CRIMINAL CASE OPENED AGAINST FORMER KAZAKH DEPUTY MINISTER OF CULTURE.
RFE/RL correspondents report from Almaty that a criminal case against Vladimir Pustovoy � the former Deputy Minister of Culture was opened by the Kazakh Authorities. Pustovoy is accused of financial mishandling He is not in Kazakhstan currently. Investigations are underway.

CHAIRWOMAN OF THE KAZAKH ELECTIONS COMMITTEE MEETS LEADERS OF POLITICAL PARTIES.
Zaghipa Baliyeva � Chairwoman of the Kazakh central Elections Committee met leaders and activists of the Kazakh political parties and movements on June 01. She said at the meeting that no amendments to the Kazakh Law on Elections would be recommended by the Central Elections Committee.

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