05/04/2022, 11.37
KYRGYZSTAN
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High profile arrests in Biškek anti-corruption campaign

by Vladimir Rozanskij

Tujgunaaly Abdraimov is an opponent of President Žaparov, linked to former head of state Atambaev. So far, anti-corruption efforts in the country have brought little result. Often tmoves  are simply political vendettas.

 

 

Moscow (AsiaNews) - An excellent arrest brings up again in Kyrgyzstan the issue of the fight against corruption in politics in recent years. The country's security services (GKNB) have arrested the former governor of the Čujsk region, and former chairman of the Electoral Commission, 63-year-old surgeon Tujgunaaly Abdraimov (see photo).

According to the authorities, the company "Kaynar", owned by Abdraimov, illegally took possession of 11 hectares of land in Ysjk-Atinsk province. The son of the accused rushed to his defense, assuring the regularity of the purchase.

Abdraimov is one of the men considered among the closest to the former Kyrgyz president Almazbek Atambaev, and has already been investigated several times by the services. He allegedly forced the inhabitants of Ysjk-Atinsk province to give up a landfill and surrounding land for free. Since 2015, he allegedly agreed with the mayor of the nearby town of Kant on the division of profits from waste recycling, without even observing sanitary regulations. The arrested man is currently being held in solitary confinement, pending the conclusion of the investigation.

Abdraimov's sons, Kazat and Elmurat, are also involved in the investigation, although at large. They guarantee the regularity of Kaynar's activities, although they have not been able to document their claims, especially on the observance of sanitary regulations that seem to have been completely disregarded. The Abdraimovs' defense lawyer, Taalaygul Toktakunova, in turn accuses the Gknb of overstepping the limits of its prerogatives, raising further procedural questions.

Abdraimov is also one of the politicians involved in the 2019 clashes for power. An opposition member, Ravšan Džeenbekov, claims that his arrest is actually "revenge" and "an attempt to eliminate a member of the group linked to Atambaev." In recent years, the former president has defended himself by saying that he is no longer interested in politics, but is an entrepreneur engaged in various fronts, including China, Turkey and Iran, and in Ysjk-Atinsk province he plans to reclaim the landfill area to open a sanatorium, for which he has already gathered a group of investors.

In the meantime, the Anti-Corruption Committee set up at the Kyrgyz presidency is drawing up a comprehensive strategy to rid the country of this long-standing scourge. President Žaparov intends to achieve 94th place in the Corruption Perceptions Index according to the parameters of Transparency International, after the country climbed from 144th to 124th place. The director of the Committee, Nurina Mukanova, presented to the Žogorku Keneš (the national parliament) a strategic project that deals precisely with corruption of deputies.

Mukanova explained that "there are various forms of corruption, and in Kyrgyzstan two of them in particular are widespread, systemic and necessity corruption. It is necessary to reform the mechanism of administration, at technological, psychological and sociological level, minimizing the influence of the human factor and increasing automation". According to him, "it is not possible for the Council of Ministers to deal with both politics and executive power along with the necessary controls".

In the parliamentary debate, several speakers complained about the repetitiveness of proclamations against corruption, which over the years have produced few results, and called for involving the entire community in decisions in this regard, not to limit themselves to "decorative reforms".

President Zaparov, in an interview with the Kabar news agency in recent days, stated that the fight against corruption has already made it possible to recover 11 billion som (over 130 million euros), thanks mainly to the work of the GKNB and the General Prosecutor's Office, adding that all the data is accessible to the public: "The data on the corrupt are not secret, if they do not give them to you, ask me."

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