Kyrgyzstan. How not to confuse the fight against corruption and witch-hunt?
01/02-2012 11:02, Bishkek – 24.kg news agency , by Asel OTORBAEVA
We have not seen or heard Atambayev like this for a long time - bitterly truthful in assessing entity. Perhaps, since the opposition rallies under the banner of Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan...
On January 30, there was held a session of the Defence Council in the new composition and headed by the President.
“The Defense Council ordered state authorities to ensure broad involvement of civil society institutions in the prevention and detection of corruption through the establishment of committees of civil control in order to combat corruption at all levels,” this is one of the decisions taken.
…While behind closed doors they were deciding how to move a good thing in motion, the staff of the Anti-Corruption Service under the State National Security Committee began the searches in office of the largest MegaCom mobile operator. A little later, the agency’s press centre explained - a criminal case was filed, corruption schemes, which involved the top management of the company have been identified. The top-managers themselves made excuses: we do not know what’s going on in our home office. And journalists have tried in vain to find MegaCom director general Azamat Murzaliyev. But the next morning it was officially announced - Azamat Murzaliyev (shown as the main person involved in a much publicized case) is waiting for an arrest warrant.
If a friend was suddenly...
“It is well-known that Azamat Murzaliyev received the chair of director general of MegaCom Company with the help of Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov. Apparently, the “mask show” involving intelligence operatives were as a complete surprise to the head of government. Having learned about searches and interrogations only after the meeting of the Defense Council, Omurbek Babanov again rushed to the President to discuss a sensitive issue (to help his friend out of trouble). So, there are two variants for top manager of MegaCom: to be sent to prison, or a cozy home - on his own recognizance.
According to some people, who know Azamat Murzaliyev, he is well-educated and intelligent young man. That is, he when receiving a tempting offer from Omurbek Babanov to lead the company was aware of the risks of such a career advancement.
Now it is the time when friends should be tested for strength and decency. Azamat Murzaliyev can tell investigators a lot of interesting information about the mobile company: how he and his friends became big bosses, how they adjusted the internal rules and for what, why they changed quite expensive high-quality equipment for Chinese, how and where profit went. It is clear that the alleged revelations of director of Alpha Telecom CJSC can not fail to irritate the Prime Minister.
It is not excluded that we will know a lot of interesting things about some top officials in the near future. In fact, there are no friends in fight against corruption. There is a great desire not to be in prison…
Target is set, the goal is clear
The President of Kyrgyzstan gave the heads of power structures and the judicial branch a dressing down. “I demand the Prosecutor-General’s Office, law enforcement and the judiciary agencies to bring each criminal case against corruption to its logical end. The perpetrators should bear responsibility under the law,” Almazbek Atambayev said.
“So it means that public prosecutor’s office has not been executing its duties for 20 years of independence and now does not execute them?” asked the chairman.
Then the turn of Financial Police came. According to Atambayev, it “was specially created to fight against corruption crimes”, but it “failed to achieve tangible results, although the conditions were created”. “Moreover, its individual members are not squeamish about corruption offenses,” the President said.
Themis, where is your conscience?
“But courts and judges cause a particular bitterness and resentment of the entire society. How can we defeat corruption, if any, even much publicized cases is “collapses” in the court? I want to warn all of these “judges”: you’ll have to answer for each such decision not only before God, as stated both in the Qoran, and in the Bible and in this world! You will answer for every illegal decision! All your decisions are taken in account. All of these decisions will be under control! Healthy part of the judiciary, the Judicial Council must hear the people. Otherwise blame yourself! Under the Constitution the President represents the unity of the government and people. And if one of the branches of government is against the people, the people will decide what to do with it! I hope you will do correct conclusions until it is not late!” Almazbek Atambayev stated at the session of the Defence Council.
What to add here? Nothing.
About political will
The President said a lot about the political will, which he has. Atambayev has to prove that important message.
However, the most difficult thing for him is a control over the fight against corruption and its main fighters.
How to measure the degree of integrity of those entrusted with this good and important thing? And who guarantees that the performers will not refuse temptation to make much publicized disclosures and clean “crime of the century” for ticks? Atambayev himself admits: corruption in Kyrgyzstan has reached astronomical proportions, it has permeated virtually all sectors of activity. The head of state even frightened, if the Anti-Corruption Service does not give real, tangible results before the end of Quarter I, the heads will bear personal responsibility and “will be simply dismissed as not justified the confidence”.
Well, after these words officials probably tackle the quantity. And Kyrgyz officials like to curry favor with his superiors (and even more with the President of the country). That’s why there is a danger that some of the fighters against corruption will turn everything into a witch-hunt. If this happens, it will return like a boomerang, and not to them, but to the head of state.
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