• KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09411 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09411 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09411 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09411 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09411 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09411 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09411 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09411 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 44

A Eurasian Perspective on the Historic Conviction of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez

On July 16, a federal court in New York found United States Senator Robert "Bob" Menendez (D) guilty on 16 counts in a corruption trial, including charges of accepting bribes to benefit the governments of Egypt and Qatar, obstruction of justice and extortion. He is the first U.S. senator to be convicted as a foreign agent and the charges collectively carry a potential sentence of 222 years in prison. Bribery charges involved receiving gold bars worth over $100,000 and more than $480,000 in cash as well as a Mercedes-Benz for his wife. “This wasn't politics as usual. This was politics for profit,” summarized Damian Williams, an attorney for the Southern District of New York. According to federal prosecutors, among other things, Menendez helped secure millions of dollars of U.S. aid for Egypt and used his office to assist a multi-million-dollar deal with a Qatari fund. Egypt’s intelligence and military officials are said to have bribed him and his wife at a time when U.S. military aid to the country would have paused due to human rights concerns. Menendez also used his official position “to protect and enrich” individuals in exchange for payments, including helping a New Jersey businessman secure a halal certification monopoly with regards to U.S. meat exports to Egypt. Striking similarities to another recent “influence-for-sale” scandal For many Europeans, this U.S. case resembles the European Union’s own Qatargate scandal, which broke out in 2022 and unveiled how foreign governments (Qatar, Morocco and Mauritania) have been channeling hundreds of thousands of euros to a ring of elected European Parliament officials who, in turn, were leveraging their authority to benefit these clients. The services included “attempts to manipulate the Parliament” and “scheming to kill off six parliamentary resolutions condemning Qatar’s human rights record” as Politico reports. In his plea deal, Antonio Panzeri, the chief of the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), admitted to receiving bribes as well as to leading and participating in a criminal organization. This criminal organization reportedly doled out bribes to EU officials through two NGOs named Fight Impunity and No Peace Without Justice, which were allegedly set up to launder money and help fund the scheme. In Menendez’s case, the money ran through his wife’s consultancy. Qatargate allegations extended beyond the Middle East and North Africa. For instance, Atlantico.fr reported that Panzeri and his associates may have been corrupted by at least two Kazakh criminal figures. Europeans appeared lenient on corruption as Panzeri only received a five-year prison sentence, of which four would be suspended and the one year he’d serve would be under house arrest with an electronic bracelet. Momentum behind investigations of key suspects has since waned, leading the EU Observer to call Qatargate “a missed opportunity to bring Europe to justice”. Foreign policy priorities pushed by Senator Menendez need to be re-examined When public officials are found to have used their office to promote external interests, their past policy activities should be closely examined. Bob Menendez has been a member of...

Kyrgyz Security Chief’s Brother-In-Law Detained on Large-Scale Fraud Charges

The brother-in-law of the head of Kyrgyzstan's State Committee for National Security (SCNS), Kamchybek Tashiyev, has been detained on suspicion of large-scale fraud. The investigation found that the relative, having conspired with a Turkish citizen by deceit and breach of trust, took possession of a large sum of money from a local businessman, who then appealed to the SCNS with a corresponding statement. The Committee said that despite close family relations, Tashiyev was instructed to conduct an objective investigation and give a legal assessment. Based on the decision of the Pervomaisky District Court of Bishkek, the suspects were detained and taken into custody as part of the investigation. The investigation is underway, and measures are being taken to compensate the injured party.

A Rocky Romance in Kyrgyzstan: Boyfriend of President’s Niece is Arrested

The boyfriend of the niece of Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov has been arrested on suspicion of manufacturing illegal drugs, two weeks after a controversy over his use of a rented government helicopter to propose marriage.  “We confirm that the boyfriend of the daughter of President Sadyr Japarov's younger brother was detained by law enforcement agencies,” presidential spokesman Askat Alagozov said on Facebook on Wednesday. He said there is “every reason to believe” that the man, Aftandil Sabyrbekov, wanted to hide “his illegal activities” by developing relationships with people who could protect him from the law.  Alagozov stressed that the president won’t hide illegal conduct. The spokesman did not specify the alleged crimes of the fiancé of Lazat Nurkozhoeva “and his accomplices,” but several media organizations in Kyrgyzstan reported that a district court in Bishkek ordered Sabyrbekov to be placed in pretrial detention until Aug. 3.  Sabyrbekov is suspected of the "Illegal production of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their alternatives for the purpose of sale in large quantities,” the Kloop outlet reported. It said he could face between 12 and 15 years in prison if convicted.  Last month, Sabyrbekov asked Nurkozhoeva, a former beauty queen, to marry him after the pair traveled by helicopter to the mountains near Bishkek. The helicopter belonged to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, a revelation that prompted scorn on social networks and drew an apology from Japarov, who has campaigned against corruption. The ministry said the aircraft was “legally leased” and Japarov said the government sometimes rents its helicopters for the benefit of the state’s coffers. But the ostentatious use of the government asset, flaunted in a slick video showing Japarov’s niece in the helicopter, was over the top for some critics.  It wasn’t true love after all, the presidential spokesman, Alagozov, appeared to suggest. At the end of his Facebook message, he referred to Sabyrbekov as the “ex-boyfriend,” indicating that the romance with the president’s niece was over. 

Kyrgyz Council Deputy Arrested for Calling for Riots

An unnamed member of the city council in Kyrgyzstan's Jalal-Abad region has been detained for calling for the organization of mass riots and a violent seizure of power, 24.kg reports. Kyrgyzstan's State Committee for National Security (SCNS) announced in a statement: "[An] investigation has established that [a] deputy of Kerben city council from the 'Ata-Jurt Kyrgyzstan' political party systematically published provocative materials and calls for the organization of mass disorder and violent seizure of power on Facebook." The suspect was taken to the security committee's detention center. The investigation is ongoing. According to the security committee, the attempt was scheduled for August 31, which is Kyrgyzstan's Independence Day. "The suspects, under the influence of certain destructive political forces, hatched plans for a violent seizure of power by destabilizing the socio-political situation in the country and organizing mass riots in Bishkek, including the death of citizens. They planned to organize a sporting event near Bishkek on Independence Day to gather young people from all around the country," the SCNS said. On the eve of Independence Day, special services detained five Kyrgyz men who were planning an armed seizure of power. A search of their homes revealed a large cache of weapons, explosives, and police uniforms. A total of 50 weapons (20 pistols and 255,238 rounds of ammunition), 200 sets of law enforcement uniforms, 150 pieces of police and 100 pieces of military headgear, 38 sets of body armor, two drones, radios, homemade explosives, and extremist literature were seized from them. It has also been established that the detainees are involved in organizing rallies against foreign citizens.

Kyrgyzstan Parliamentarian in Brawl with Security Guard

In Bishkek, Chyngyz Azhibayev, a deputy of the Kyrgyz Republic's Jogorku Kenesh (Parliament), almost ran over an employee of the Asia Mall shopping and entertainment center, after which he got into a fight with him, 24.kg has reported. The incident occurred on June 21, but has only just been acknowledged. According to a source in law enforcement agencies, at about 3PM, whilst driving his car out of the shopping mall's parking lot, Azhibayev narrowly avoided hitting a security guard. The deputy then reacted aggressively to the security guard's remarks, exited his vehicle, and proceeded to start a fight with him. The pair were separated by bystanders, but the deputy then called the police and filed a complaint against the guard. The press service of the Leninsky district police department said that the call came in at 15:50. Law enforcement officers who arrived on the scene took Azhibayev's statement, which he later withdrew, meaning the case was terminated.

Kyrgyz Supreme Court Upholds Sentence of Activist Zarina Torokulova

Considering the appeal of convicted activist Zarina Torokulova, the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan upheld the sentence passed down on her by lower courts, lawyer Akmat Alagushev has reported. According to Alagushev, the charges against the defendant were not proven at the investigation or in court; despite this, the court found her guilty. On January 16, the Pervomaisky District Court of Bishkek found the activist guilty of violating Part 3 of Article 278 of the Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic, which addresses "Calls for active disobedience to the lawful demands of authorities, mass disorder, and incitement to violence against citizens." Earlier, the prosecution noted that the activist shared two messages from the Facebook account "Umai Aruu." One was "Zhaparov Mafia," and the other was "Organizing an online rally," a repost of a video by journalist, Olzhobai Shakir, who opposed the transfer of four boarding houses on Issyk-Kul to Uzbekistan, and urged citizens to come out for a rally. He was detained on August 23, 2023, by officers of the State Committee for National Security, accused of calling for active disobedience to law enforcement officials, mass disorder, and attempted seizure of power. Torokulova was sentenced to five years' imprisonment with three years' probationary supervision.