Mukhtar Dzhakishev: Who’s Framing Him?
The businessmen that have supported Dzhakishev were focusing on his fine human qualities, which they certainly are entitled to judge upon. They know him well. They belong to the same generation, they have similar aspirations, in short, they are of one wave. But instead another voice has sounded much more loudly in defense of Mukhtar Dzhakishev, and this voice did not come from Almaty, but from the faraway Vienna…
June 01, 2009
Talgat Ibraev, by e-mail
A large-scale revision of the financial and economic activity of Kazatomprom National Company is being carried out by a commission including representatives of law enforcement authorities and of the Ministry of Finances. Seven executives of the nuclear monster are suspects under criminal charges that are already brought. One of them is Mukhtar Dzhakishev, President, who is now under arrest.
The charges are as follows: “misappropriation of property entrusted by the State, in the form of stakes in major uranium deposits of Kazakhstan, by way of disposal thereof in favor of a number of companies registered in offshore zones”. The specific facts mentioned include the Central area of the Mynkuduk uranium deposit that was assigned to a private company… free of charge, as well as a stake in the Kyzylkum production company which was sold for a token amount of 15.6 million tenge. The investigation refers as well to other deposits, the subsoil use rights in which were assigned in an illegal way.
A political undercurrent has instantly been found, as it is the custom for such notorious cases. An open letter addressed to the President and supporting Mukhtar Dzhakishev has been published. The number of signatories includes well-known businessmen like Nurzhan Subkhanberdin, Nurlan Smagulov, Raimbek Batalov. The ex-Minister Zeinulla Kakimzhanov and the ex-head of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy Ablay Myrzakhmetov, who was conditionally sentenced for misappropriation of monetary funds in the range of billions, joined them.
Despite the emotional tone of the address, the authors tried to avoid direct accusations of an unjustified or ordered criminal prosecution. They have fleetingly referred to the Dzhakishev’s arrest as “unexplainable”. No surprise here: who would risk vouching for the absence of infringements in the activity of a huge national company, where one would need to go through mounds of documents in order to get just a rough idea of the finances and production?
The businessmen that have supported Dzhakishev were focusing on his fine human qualities, which they certainly are entitled to judge upon. They know him well. They belong to the same generation, they have similar aspirations, in short, they are of one wave.
But instead another voice has resounded much more loudly in defense of Mukhtar Dzhakishev, and this voice did not come from Almaty, but from the faraway Vienna. This was Rakhat Aliev’s call. In his pathetical address he referred to these events as another blow to the young reformers, and he named… himself as one of those reformers.
The signatories of the address supporting Mukhtar Dzhakishev have probably been extremely surprised when Rakhat Aliev has amalgamated himself with them by the WE pronoun. And he somewhat airily explained how HIM and THEY have actually become this WE: “By resurrecting banks, departments, law enforcement bodies, national companies”. It meant that while the young reformers were developing the business sector in private and national companies, Rakhat Aliev, as it happened, was going hand in hand with them, by “resurrecting” first the tax police, and then the national security committee.
Rakhat Aliev as a young reformer. This would look like a joke if the facts of life weren’t so harsh. He wasn’t resurrecting, he was upsetting those who turned out to be guilty just because he had a greedy eye on them. For all of his adult life he was taking away established businesses, taking away media, closing up those who didn’t want to share with him, and persecuting those young reformers as hard as he could. And now he cynically exclaims: “We be of one blood, thou and I!” It’s like the robber telling the robbed that he and they were doing it together; they had one property to share! It is either that the cynicism level has gone up so high that it was simply impossible to hide it, or the people who were writing texts for Rakhat Aliev have completely lost their minds.
Some believe that the cause of Mukhtar Dzhakishev’s arrest was the friendship with Mukhtar Ablyazov, who is currently hiding from the Kazakhstani law enforcement authorities abroad. The treasurer of Kazatomprom is a man who definitely is well informed on the situation – he had even talked about it openly in a recent interview. But Rakhat Aliev has immediately risen to the occasion in order to save a place for himself: “No, it was because of me, it was because of me that Dzhakishev was arrested!” They have allegedly revenged for him being friends with Aliev.
Indeed, Rakhat Aliev and Mukhtar Dzhakishev know each other for a long time. Dzhakishev mentioned in his interview that Aliev and he knew each other since their days at the daycare. But is it sufficient in order to act as the Kazatomprom ex-head’s advocate now? “In his time Kazakhstan became one of the top three uranium exporters worldwide”, Aliev declares. And in Rakhat Aliev’s time Kazakhstan did nothing more but become one of the top three leaders in free press persecution and black raiding. Mukhtar Dzhakishev is suspected of financial violations, whereas Rakhat Aliev was convicted for theft, abduction, extortion and other attributes of a common thug. Mukhtar Dzhakishev, unlike Rakhat Aliev, did not dig out coins out of other people’s bank safe-boxes… They did know each other in kindergarten, but now they stand on way too different positions.
Dzhakishev is only a suspect yet. The revision is in process now; all the facts must be proved by documents. But Aliev has already delivered his verdict. And he’s doing his best by egging on the authorities with his absurd proclamations: he’s my sidekick, put him to jail! Why? In order to be able to cover the market in accusations: here’s how the punishment machine of Astana works, with no mercy for anyone. He uses the Dzhakishev situation just in order to remind about himself once again and to play another card, the young reformers one. The notions of friendship, kinship, honor, and other moral categories mean nothing for this man for a long time already.
“Mukhtar has left at home his wife and five minor children” – this is how Rakhat Aliev concluded his message. These words would be appropriate for anyone else, but not for a man who should be asked: “And how many children, relatives and loved ones were left at home by Zholdas Timraliev and Aibar Khasenov, the Nurbank managers who were kidnapped by Rakhat Aliev and still weren’t found?” How many children were left by all those whose lives he had ruined, among other things, by involving them in his crimes?