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Ex-Governor’s Case. Lawyers’ opinions after pronouncement of sentence (+update)

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By Zulfiya Bainekeeva

Yury SlinchenkoYury SlinchenkoSome of the sentenced persons in the ex-govenor Bergei Ryskaliyev’s case said they intend to appeal against the sentence.

This was immediately announced by a few lawyers, who protected defendants on this high-profile case, right after they had the sentences in their hands.

- The accomplished justice, in my opinion, has not covered a number of persons, including my client Bolat Daukenov. The sentence is not balanced, some kind of "swinging" could be noted: for practically similar actions some of the condemned received very gentle punishment and the measure applied was lower than the lowest limit and others received the most severe sentences. We consider that the charge relating to the management of criminal group (Art. 235-1 of the RoK Criminal Code) has not been proved. According to the existing formulation, the charge was not even filed against Daukenov, - said the lawyer Yury Slinchenko. - Concerning the embezzlement of “Business-Komek” State Fund – we also consider that it was unproven, as these actions could be viewed through the prism of other laws: there was no intention to plunder state money.

- What do you count on, addressing the appeal court?

- We want them to place legal accents correctly. Unfortunately, Daukenov is now considered the right hand of Ryskaliyev.

- Don’t you agree with this definition?

- No, we don't agree. Yes, he was his first deputy, but to be number 2 person in the  criminal group – this definition, to put it mildly, doesn't correspond to reality and facts that are available at the court. If the court was guided by the law, the defendants wouldn't be considered an organized criminal community in any way. With a big stretch it is possible to call it the group that acted according to preliminary arrangements, since they were involved in illegal privatization. The formulation "organized criminal community" is inappropriate: their actions were defined by the laws about state and local government administration. They all obeyed - even if they were illegal - the Governor’s orders and instructions, in other words, their direct manager.

- How did your client reacted to the sentence?

- To tell the truth, he was shocked. The article 235 was removed from a large number of defendants not because they didn’t make actions that they were accused of, but because at the time of commissioning those acts, there was another revision of this article in force, and they weren't pursued by the law. And in relation to several defendants this charge remained in force. The court considered that their criminal acts proceeded after introduction of this change to the law concerning organized crime (new revision with the changes to the concept "criminal community" came into force in December, 2011).

Igor VranchevIgor VranchevIgor VRANCHEV, the lawyer of the  following defendants: Ulan Kuralbaev, Eduard Durmanov, Alexander Kuzema and Gulmira Azbergenova:

- In general, we have no pretensions to the way the judge conducted the process. As the defender I am absolutely satisfied with the sentence concerning Azbergenova, who was completely justified on all charges brought against her. I also agree with the justification of all my defendants on Article 235, part 3.

But we will appeal the sentence awarded to Kuralbaev. The court reclassified the charge presented earlier from Article 176, part 4 to Article 307, part 4, but, in actual fact, his actions could be classified as negligence (Article 316).

Kuzema and Durmanov also will use their right for appeal, since we disagree with the sentence that they are guilty.They had nothing to do neither with embezzlement of funds nor with aiding embezzlement.

- Will Azbergenova exercise her right for compensation of the damage caused as the result of illegal criminal prosecution?

- We are grateful to the judge Dauletova for the change of the punishment measure from a pre-trial detention center to house arrest in spring of this year. Gulmira Azbergenova was put in a pre-trial detention center on February 19, 2013 and was there till March 14, 2014. From March till the day of sentence announcement she was under the house arrest. Of course, we will use the right for compensation of damage caused by the actions of law enforcement agencies.


The lawyers wonder where the sums of 80,9 billion tenge that must be collected from the defendants came from? To recall, in the fall of 2012 the Financial police assessed the damage caused by the actions of Ryskaliyev’s organized criminal group during 6 years at 71 billion tenge. A year later the investigation team officially declared that the property estimated at 23.6 billion tenge was returned to the state and lowered the sum of damage down to 42,1 billion tenge. Where did the double sum come from?

- I have no idea, - says Igor Vranchev. - In particular, I can speak about my clients' situation. In the course of the court session we disproved practically all charges concerning the embezzled sums. Experts of the Judicial examination center couldn't justify a single conclusion that they made. Moreover, they made elementary arithmetic mistakes in their calculations of the criminal case materials, and we are talking about billions here. And this was revealed even during court sessions. Therefore virtually everybody was shocked when they announced the sums to be collected in profit of the state. We don't know where these enormous sums came from and what particular damage they need to cover.

Photos by Kanat Eleuov

November 19 2014, 11:52

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