General Prosecutorís Office about MegaCom and scandals around it
03/02-2012 11:49, Bishkek – 24.kg news agency , by Makhinur NIYAZOVA
Journalists solicited on conversation with Assistant Chief of General Prosecutorís Office Baytemir Ibraev after the situation around MegaCom had started to boil and later their top-managers were arrested.
It wasnít the first MegaCom case for our interviewer. Earlier two cases had been complained against the cellular operator Ė the case of money laundering in Alpha Telecom CJSC. Notorious Raushan Pykunova (Rosa Kachieva) and her relatives are sitting in remand prison. Now another criminal case: so-called ďrevolutionaryĒ director Azamat Murzaliev, his assistant Almazbek Abekov and Novostroy Service Ltd. Aman uulu Kenzhebek were sent to jail. They were accused in abuse of authority, embezzlement, document forgery and fraud. GKNB (State National Security Committee) officers reported Ė corruption schemes were revealed in the CJSCÖ
Truth about anti-corruption campaign started in the country was told by Assistant Chief of General Prosecutorís Office Baytemir Ibraev to 24.kg news agency.
-Another big scandal around the largest cellular operator has made society to ask again: was the Companyís nationalization legal?
- Right after the April events 2010 a criminal case was initiated on the case of raiding of Alpha Telecom CJSC. Penwell Company as the official owner of the CJSC addressed the complaint to General Prosecutorís Office. Right now its stake in the Company (51 per cent of shares) is under arrest during investigation. But there is no one owner de-facto.
As soon as the case was initiated the de-jure owner Mayankhu Jose, Kyrgyz national, ran away. During the investigation it was identified that 49 per cent of the shares had been simply stolen by Maksim Bakiev and his closed people. Therefore the acting Government members made the decision to nationalize MegaCom.
- So, it means that they were acting illegally?
-That days all power belonged to acting Government. It replaced Parliament, Governmetn and President. All branches of power were concentrated in their hands. They used the moment and made a decision to nationalize the cellular company. This step can be accepted as legal.
General Prosecutorís Office were brining in its responses to acting Government. As for application on nationalized property it was said that the property was confiscated from former owners who were closed to clannish regime.
- Why then it was nationalized but not returned to former owners if it was stolen from them?
- During the Bakievís regime investors were coming to Kyrgyzstan some interested persons offered to include Maksim Bakiev in stake. Investors didnít have any other choice and agreed with it. So, the Bakiev family members became owners of 20 or more per cent of different companiesí stakes. Accordingly, we were identifying companies or property which could belong to the Bakievs. Nationalization was based on this information.
- Who is the current owner of 51 per cent of Alpha Telecom OJSC stakes?
No one does. But many are putting in a claim for the stakes. When the investigation around MegaCom has started I was surprised how many aspirants appeared. The owner will be defined by courtís decision. Now there several main aspirants: Ermen Too Resources, Penwell and Serpeus. And no one guarantee that there wonít be other aspirants.
- Was it legal to appoint special administration for Alpha Telecom if the problem with the owner wasnít decided yet?
- Our Government has become the owner of 49 per cent of shares and have the right to appoint its representative. In March 2011 Azamat Murzaliev became the CEO. I think it doesnít contradict to the law as we should have our own representative.
- Now a criminal case was initiated against the representative, and it wasnít the first one. The case of Raushan and Valdislav Rykunov is in court. Previous CEO Andrew Silich ran awayÖ All of them took part in exaction of money. Will all the MegaCom cases be united in one?
- There is no any reason to unite them. There will be a lot of individuals committed crimes connected with Alpha Telecom CJSC. These are the first signs.
Besides there is a criminal case against Maksim Bakiev and Alexei Eliseev. The latter became the owner after tool shares form Penwell Company and Mayankhu Jose. Baiev and Eliseev were accused in raiding and money laundery. Undoubtedly, these cases will be investigated separately.
Arrest of Alpha Telecom CJSC top managers have been realized right during meeting of Defense Council where President urged to strengthen fight against the corruption. Is it just a coincidence?
Indeed, it is just coincidence. But the investigation has been holding for a long time and the number of criminal cases will increase. Not only Anticorruption Service, Ministry of Internal Affairs and General Prosecutorís Office are participating in this investigation. I consider that all the actions are correct and initiated in proper time. As President Almazbek Atambayev noted, corruption has become a mode of management under former President Kurmanbek Bakiev. Our task is to enhance the struggle with it.
- Maybe the struggle has indeed enhanced. But donít you think that it would be used as a method of repressions, in order to please President? We often hear about scandalous arrests but we donít know about sentencesÖ
- Yes, I agree. Not all cases reach the courtroom because many of defendants are in hiding. Also the reform of judicial system influence of every public body activity.
- By the fact that judiciary establishment hasnít been established yet. For 5 months of my work as prosecutor I managed to take to court the case of former Energy Minister Elias Davidoff. He was found guilty but he was set free because of bad health. Former Head of Kyrgyzgas OJSC Aytekeev has also been found guilty and sentenced to compensation of damage to the state.
It needs to understand how the judicial system will work. Though, despite enormous efforts and scale of law machineryís work, courts are acquitting defendants. How is that possible?
- Maybe because of the lack of probative arguments?
- If the case is running into the ground because of legal reasons then Iíll agree with you. Always, in our country there are many people who are interested in absolution. They are hiring dozens of advocates and paying them big money. Unlike our judges who donít even know whether they will remain on their positions. So, they donít want to provoke conflicts and do not resist.
- Todayís officials are holding offices since Bakievís times. I canít name them as it is classified information, but I can assure you everything is not clear during trial. Therefore we will appeal against the judge's decision and make them to deliver a judgment.
- You noted that there will be a lot of arrests in framework of fighting corruption. Arenít you afraid that these new cases wonít run into the ground?
- Iím quite optimistic about it. I think everything will be fine. We are working together with MIA, Financial Police, Anticorruption Service, GKNB. Also public officials are on our side too. Yes, we will achieve significant results.
- So, policemen should got scolding from Almazbek Atambaev in order to start fighting corruption among high ranking officials? You know, no one would be surprised if courts will put only judgements of guilt. Because of Presidentís order?
It needs to realize and finish judicial reform and with judges a sense of certainty. If a judge work clear and honestly he shouldnít afraid anything. He will announce only rightful sentences.
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