8 January 2002
ORAL SAULEBAY'S FATE STILL UNCLEAR
Officials of South Kazakhstan Oblast's Interior Affairs Department told RFE/RL that Oral Saulebay, a leading member of the Azat movement and Chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Kazakh Land, was transferred from Tashkent Oblast Police Department to Sary Aghash raion police department late on 7 January. Saulebay was detained by Uzbek police officers on 30 December for allegedly organizing an unsanctioned mass gathering on the Kazakh-Uzbek border (see "RFE/RL Kazakh Report," 2, 3 and 4 January 2002).
Saulebay was expected to be released from custody as soon as he entered Kazakh territory. But according to the most recent reports from RFE/RL correspondents, he was taken away from South Kazakhstan's Interior Affairs Department by officers of Kazakhstan's Committee of National Security (formerly KGB) and his present whereabouts are unknown.
FORMER GOVERNOR OF PAVLODAR OBLAST PREVENTED FROM HOLDING MASS MEETING
The Pavlodar City administration has turned down a 27 December request by former Pavlodar Oblast governor Ghalymzhan Zhaqiyanov to hold a mass gathering in the city on 12 January. An unnamed representative of Zhaqiyanov told RFE/RL that the main goal of the planned gathering was to demand the immediate release of two of Zhaqiyanov former deputies who were detained recently by local police and accused of abuse of power and financial mismanagement (see "RFE/RL Kazakh Report," 2 and 3 January 2002).
Zhaqiyanov was dismissed as governor in November by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev after he co-founded the new opposition political movement Kazakhstan's Democratic Choice (see "RFE/RL Kazakh Report," 20, 21 and 22 November 2001).
KAZAKHOIL DENIES OWNING SHARES IN ODESSA-BRODY OIL PIPELINE PROJECT
KazakhOil spokeswoman Umitkhan Baltayeva told RFE/RL on 8 January that all media reports of the company's alleged involvement in Ukraine's Odessa-Brody oil pipeline project are groundless. Some local media outlets in Kazakhstan reported recently that KazakhOil is a shareholder in the Odessa-Brody project. According to Baltayeva, KazakhOil has some plans and agreements with Ukraine. She expressed the hope that the recent scandal concerning Ukraine's Ukrneftprodukt Company will not affect KazakhOil's other projects in Ukraine's oil and gas sector.