Monday, October 26, 2020

Ex-Kyrgyzstan PM sentenced to 15 years in corruption case

-

A former prime minister in Kyrgyzstan has been sentenced to 15 years in prison on corruption charges, ending a trial that has served as a sideshow to a now-spent battle of wills between the country’s current and former presidents.

Sverdlovsk district court on December 6 found Sapar Isakov and six other former top officials guilty of profiting from a 2013 deal for Chinese company TBEA to overhaul a power plant in the capital, Bishkek. Isakov and others in the dock denied the charges.

Isakov’s supporters contend he became collateral damage in a deeply bitter months-long political row between his close ally, the former President Almazbek Atambayev, who is now also in jail, and the country’s current leader, Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

Prosecutors argued that Isakov used his influence, while serving as head of the international affairs department in Atambayev’s presidential administration, to lobby in favor of Xinjiang-based TBEA to win a $386 million contract. They argued, and the court has supported their case, that the value of the work, which was completed by 2017, was set at $111 million above the real value.

- Advertisement -

Zamir Zhooshev, who acted for Isakov in court, said the court failed to provide any evidence that any bribery had taken place or that his client had enriched himself as a result of the contract.

“This was a politically manufactured case designed to imprison Sapar Isakov. This ruling is a sign that the authorities in Kyrgyzstan can do whatever they want,” Zhooshev said after the judge delivered the sentence.

Zhooshev had made the case that it was the Chinese government itself that lobbied heavily for TBEA to win the tender. It has been argued that Beijing extended the credit needed to finance the work with the specific proviso that TBEA would get the job.

“The contracting company was not chosen at all by Kyrgyz officials. TBEA was the choice of the Chinese authorities. Beijing insisted on this choice and achieved its goal,” Zhooshev said.

- Advertisement -

The court failed to compel any representatives from TBEA to testify – a fact that caused exasperation among Isakov’s defense team.

The TBEA contract was ratified by lawmakers, but none of them has been accountable, Zhooshev complained. Jeenbekov, now the head of state, was prime minister during the renovation work, and he too has never been quizzed about his role in allowing the project to proceed.

In his final appeal to the court, Isakov delivered a five-hour-long speech in which he outlined his motivations for pursuing the TBEA deal and denied that he had done anything wrong.

“I did not lobby anyone. Nobody. Everyone who worked with me knows that I always acted on the basis of the interest of the country,” he said.

Aibek Kaliyev, the former head of the National Energy Holding Company, the holding company that incorporates a range of state-held power assets, was like Isakov handed a 15-year prison sentence. Jantoro Satybaldiyev, the prime minister at the time the deal with TBEA was reached, was given a sentence of seven-and-a-half years in prison.

Other defendants received either prison terms or were fined.

MUST READ

Julius Baer to deny two former CEOs their bonuses over money laundering scandal

Julius Baer will withhold millions of francs in bonuses from its former chief executives Boris Collardi and Bernhard Hodler, as a result of a...

Goldman Sachs executives to cover part payments of $3 billion fines in 1MDB scandal

Nine current or former Goldman Sachs executives, including CEO David Solomon, will have to pay back hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation over...

Goldman Sachs agrees $3 billion settlement with US DoJ over 1MDB corruption scandal

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay nearly $3bn (£2.3bn) in the US to end a probe of its role in Malaysia's 1MDB corruption scandal. The...

Hong Kong fines Goldman Sachs $350 million over 1MDB scandal

Goldman Sachs ignored multiple red flags over the multibillion-dollar fundraisings it arranged for state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Hong Kong’s financial regulator said on...

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton fires top aide who accused him of bribery

Lacey Mase, one of the top aides who accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of crimes including bribery and abuse of office, has been fired, she told The...

Subscribe For More

Get our daily notification on the latest financial crimes news around the World

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest News

This Week

Former North Macedonia PM linked to new money laundering probe

The Organised Crime Prosecution in North Macedonia on Monday confirmed the arrest of Risto Novacevski – the best man of fugitive ex-prime minister Nikola...

Brother of ex-Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif jailed for money laundering

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif was sent to jail on Tuesday in a money laundering...

Texas AG Ken Paxton fires second whistleblower who accused him of bribery

A second whistleblower has been fired from the Texas attorney general’s office after reporting his boss, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, to law enforcement for...

Former Blue Bell Creameries CEO indicted for fraud linked to 2015 listeria outbreak

The former president and CEO of Blue Bell Creameries L.P., a Texas ice cream company, was indicted Tuesday on wire fraud charges in connection with a scheme...
Advertisement

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks