By Zulfiya Bainekeeva
On June 18, the appeal regional court conditionally ahead of schedule released ex-Mayor of Atyrau Askar Kerimov, who was charged within the criminal case of ex-governor Bergey Ryskaliev's organized criminal group.
“I wasn't sent to another city, I served my term in Atyrau"
To recall, Kerimov was charged with illegal privatization of state facilities. He was sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment in a standard regime penal colony with confiscation of property and deprivation of right to hold administrative positions in the government for 3 years.
- Article 72 of RoK Criminal Code provides opportunity to submit the petition for conditional early release if you served more than a half of your term, - Askar Kerimov explained by phone. - In April I filed petition with court #2, but the court refused it without giving any clear arguments. Then I filed petition to appeal court. Yesterday the court considered the petition and the judge Sandugash Suleimenova ruled that the court # 2 refused my petition unreasonably, and I am subject to a conditional early release. The decision came into force immediately and I was released just in a couple of hours after the judgment was announced.
- So you served your term in Atyrau, in a pre-trial detention center?
- Yes. In the pre-trial detention center there is a special cell for people who serve a small term. In principle, I should have been transported to corrective labor colony in Semey as former employee of law-enforcement system (they serve their terms separately from other convicted people).
- How long have you been in prison? How do you feel out of prison?
- I spent 2 years and 9 months in prision. I feel perfectly well and currently underoing adaptation. I saw the city for the first time in three years and I want to say that Atyrau was beautiful and it became even better. It changed, became more green. By the way, those are the trees that we planted.
“I won't do civil service any more"
- Many in our city consider that you are lucky: many persons involved within your criminal case received very long terms and you received the smallest term. How would you explained it?
- I personally didn't take any part in all those criminal actions. I was accused on 2 letters that I wrote while I was the Mayor. One of those letters wasn't even in the case documents.Even those letters didn't play crucial role in privatization. I personally wasn't the part of the commission and didn't sign any documents. Those letters were proposals, but the court considered that I indirectly influenced the situation. Probably, because of my position and that I was in close proximity. But it is necessary to look at the facts and actions that one makes and not the position that you occupy.
- In pre-trial detention center during court hearings you probably crossed the paths with other persons involved in this case.
- Of course, constantly. Quite often we sat in one cell.
- With whom exactly?
- They changed us very often, and I shared cell with almost all of them who was invovled.
- For sure you talked about the criminal case that concerned all of you. Could you express some general opinion on this case and persons involved in it?
- I wanted to work hard and to show my work. I can't tell for everybody, but I personally wanted to quickly work, implement tasks and achieve goals. That is the speed that many Mayors suffer and it brings chaos to your work and respectively the papers are not in order and that was the result …
- What will you do now when you are free?
- I will look for work but it is clear as the day that I won't go to civil service any more.
Dzhantemirov is also released
It became known, that on the same day, in Aktau one more condemned person on this case – ex-head of finance department Baurzhan Dzhantemirov was also early released on conditional terms. He was sentenced to 4 years of high security with confiscation of property, with deprivation of right to hold government position for 5 years.