matters of strengthening the guarantees of the citizens’ constitutional rights, ensuring the rule of law and humanizing law enforcement. The General Prosecutor of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kairat Kozhamzharov spoke about the development of the law enforcement sector, the results achieved, as well as the tasks for the future in an interview with “Kazakhstanskaya Pravda”
- Kairat Perneshovich, the Head of State recently set a number of new tasks for the criminal prosecution authorities. What have you managed to do?
- The tasks set by President Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev in accordance with the laws of the republic are priority subjects for the criminal prosecution bodies’ activity.
Their implementation required us to choose new approaches to work based on accumulated practical experience and changes in legislation. The question is about consistent humanization, modernization of law enforcement, daily work results and a course on global digitization of processes.
Today, with firm conviction, it can be said that the measures taken fully meet the fundamental goal of the reforms - increasing the security of our citizens and ensuring stability in society.
The last 3 years there have seen a steady decline in crime by an average of 8–10%. its Grave and especially grave its types reduced by 19%. The robberies, frauds and thefts, which constitute the bulk of the crime structure, have decreased.
We studied and analyzed the causes and conditions of the commission of this category of crimes. It turned out that in most cases the possibility of terminating cases for reconciliation of the parties does not have the proper preventive effect.
Individuals, staying at freedom, instead of correcting their behavior, go to commit another theft in order to pay off the damage in the previous case. Thus, in Almaty region Talgatov repeatedly reconciled committed 65 thefts, and Aleksandrov - 89. In Almaty Zhunusov - 56, Ryabov from East Kazakhstan region - 112 thefts.
To change the situation, the General Prosecutor’s Office initiated amendments to the criminal law on the classification of repeated thefts, frauds and misappropriation of another’s property as grave crimes. The law has already been signed by the Head of State. Now, on such facts reconciliation will be impossible.
In addition, since last year, the human rights potential of the criminal process has been significantly strengthened. The institutions of writ proceedings, judicial control over secret investigative actions, a shortened period of detention of suspects, a ban on the detention of economic crimes and others are fully functioning.
As a result, in 2018, the lowest indicator of repressiveness was noted over the years of independence. If in 2000 bodies of investigation 43 thousand citizens were detained, then last year only 10 thousand.
The number of those arrested was also reduced by 4 times - from 38 to 9 thousand. The number of people sentenced to imprisonment decreased 5.5 times - from 40 thousand to 7 thousand. Directly prosecutors from the offices and isolators released 766 illegally detained.
For the first time, our citizens have the right to be notified by the criminal prosecution authorities about secret auditions and covert observations carried out with the approval of the court, but not confirmed in relation to them. Almost 1,000 citizens have received such notifications.
Prosecutors' measures did not allow the conduct of similar operational search activities against 2.5 thousand people.
Particular attention is focused on the performance of one of the main constitutional functions - the maintenance of public prosecution. Prosecutors are focused on a comprehensive objective examination of evidence in court proceedings. They do not depend on previously adopted procedural decisions of the preliminary investigation.
Supervision measures justified 85 persons. Of the verdicts revised by the Supreme Court, 65% were amended on cassation appeals by the General Prosecutor’s Office. In total in the republic judicial acts regarding 2 thousand persons are brought into compliance with the law.
At the same time, the inevitability of punishment is ensured. According to the prosecutors’ acts, acquittals for 67 defendants were recognized as illegal.
For example, in the Akmolinsk region, the justification of 5 members of an organized criminal group, which for a long time engaged in the illegal sale of land around Astana has been canceled. The perpetrators are sentenced to various terms of imprisonment.
In the Kostanay region an acquittal was revised with a subsequent conviction against Osmanova, who sold heroin on a particularly large scale.
In general, topical issues of combating crime, ensuring law and order in the society are under the constant control of the Coordination Council of the General Prosecutor's Office.
- An integral part of restorative justice is compensation for damage caused by a criminal offense. Tell us more about it.
- Indeed, the protection of the victims’ material interests is a burning issue. Ownership is guaranteed by the Constitution and laws. Therefore, compensation for damage is a priority for law enforcement.
Last year, the measures taken during the investigation returned 120 billion tenge to the state and citizens. Special prosecutors recovered second-tier banks stolen 260 billion tenge. In addition, for these purposes, property worth 63 billion tenge seized.
In this aspect, it is important to note the law adopted in January on the protection of property, which gave the prosecutor a new duty - to check the validity of the criminal origin of the seized property. This is another tool to guarantee compliance with property rights.
According to international experience, there has been introduced a new mechanism for the material protection of crimes victims; set up compensation fund for victims. On July 1, 2018, it began to be filled at the expense of compulsory payments of perpetrators. Already it’s charged 300 million tenge.
From July 1, 2020, affected minors, victims of torture, human trafficking and violent acts will receive one-time compensation.
Issues of compensation for harm are always in the area of careful attention of the prosecutor's office.
- Society felt the results of the prosecutor's checks in the tariff setting. The Head of State dedicated a separate meeting of the Security Council to this problem, which speaks of its importance. What are the results for today and will be plan similar inspections planned for this year?
- In the October Address, the Head of State drew attention to the need to improve the quality of the population life and instructed to establish order in the tariff policy, as this applies to each Kazakhstan family. We all pay for water, heat and electricity in our homes.
Prosecutors checked energy companies. They revealed violations at all stages - production, transmission and supply of heat and electricity. The facts of non-fulfillment of investment obligations, tariff estimates, cost overruns, as well as inefficient use of budget funds were established.
At present, 5 million tenge has already been reimbursed to 25 million tenge by introducing a compensating tariff. In each region, the cost of electricity and heat is reduced.
For example, in the capital, the price of electricity decreased by 1.97 tenge, in the Akmolinsk region - by 1.5 tenge. The heat tariff for Kapchagai residents is reduced by 1904 tenge and Astana - by 228 tenge.
There is one more reduction in costs - community facilities.
According the prosecutors protests, the Ministry of Energy reduced the marginal tariffs for electricity generation. For example, the Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydroelectric Power Station - by 60%, the Eurasian Energy Corporation - by 54%, the Ekibastuz Hydroelectric Power Station - 1 - by 34%. As a result, energy transmission companies have begun to revise their tariff estimates.
According to the revealed facts of abuse, a number of criminal cases are being investigated. Currently, 6 individuals are on trial. The results of the judicial review will be communicated to the public.
In addition, on the instructions of the President this year we intend to achieve a similar reduction in tariffs in the areas of water, gas and telecommunications.
Also they checked the performance of the employment program for the last 3 years. They revealed inefficient use of 7 billion tenge, embezzlement of 1 billion tenge and misuse of loans worth more than 500 million tenge.
Over 100 criminal cases were initiated on the above mentioned facts. The leaders of the employment centers of Ust-Kamenogorsk, Abay district of East Kazakhstan region, Zhualinsky district of Zhambyl region, Balkhash, Zhezkazgan, Shymkent and Kyzylorda have already been convicted.
In the field of view there are constantly issues of protection of labor and social rights of citizens, as well as the state interests. According to our acts, wage arrears of 2.4 billion tenge were repaid. Land plots worth 7 billion tenge were returned to the state land fund. This work continues and is under the special control of the Head of State.
In the transport sector, damage to the state of 6.4 billion tenge was prevented. In general, 34 billion tenge were reimbursed to the budget, property was transferred to 21 billion.
In the future, audits of compliance with the law in the areas of providing citizens with free medical care, protecting the rights of socially vulnerable groups of the population: children, the disabled, pensioners and others are planned.
Each of our checks is aimed at improving the quality of the population life and removing the prerequisites of social problems.
- There are many examples when criminals, having committed a crime, hide from the investigative bodies outside of Kazakhstan. At the same time they freely use the stolen money. Kairat Perneshovich, what is being done to prosecute such persons?
- First of all, international cooperation is actively developing in the field of combating crime, the extradition of fugitive criminals and the return of stolen assets.
Last year alone, 7 agreements were signed with Brazil, Mongolia, the United Arab Emirates, and Ukraine on the transfer, extradition of prisoners and the provision of legal assistance. In general, 63 bilateral agreements were concluded with foreign countries.
Thanks to these agreements, in 2018 123 foreign criminals were extradited to Kazakhstan, 70 were extradited from abroad.
For example, Esenamanov N. and Najayev R. for murder were extradited from Kyrgyzstan, E. Kunshugarov for terrorist crimes from Turkey, and Mehdiyev O. is extradited from Uzbekistan in a high-profile case about the death of 52 citizens in the Aktobe region.
On the principle of reciprocity, in the absence of treaties, the Greek authorities extradited Khaisin D. for terrorist crimes, Germany extradited Ibrahim B. and Izgiyaev H. for fraud on a large scale, Leladze G. for smuggling psychotropic substances.
Overseas criminal proceeds worth over $ 100 million have been established and arrested.
This work continues, this year we plan to sign similar agreements with South Korea, Cuba, Greece and Macedonia.
- In the Address, as a priority task for the future, the Head of State outlined the need to train qualified personnel for law enforcement agencies. What work does the supervisor do in this direction?
- The effectiveness of our activity depends on our staff professionalism. On the instructions of the President, a completely new model of training candidates for law enforcement services was developed. This task is entrusted to the Academy of the General Prosecutor's Office and specialized higher educational institutions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The corresponding bill is under consideration by the Parliament of the country.
The training mechanism consists of several stages: selection of candidates for professional, personal and medical parameters; interviewing and testing; training in the academy; internships and final exams. Successful training guarantees unconditional employment of the candidate for the service.
The implemented model of personnel training will provide law enforcement agencies with specialists as deeply immersed in the profession.
In addition, the Secretary of State supported the initiative of the General Prosecutor's Office to allocate a separate quota for training law enforcement officers in the Bolashak program. There are allocated 55 places this year.
In general, the personnel policy of law enforcement agencies is implemented in accordance with the Plan of the Nation “100 concrete steps”. The basic principles of personnel selection, similar to the civil service, are consistently distributed.
- At the end of the conversation, I ask you to dwell on the upcoming tasks and plans of the prosecution authorities in the current year.
- Priorities remain unchanged - it is the protection of the citizens’ rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, the state interests and the enforcement of legality in all spheres of life.
To this end, we will continue to fulfill the instructions of the Head of State arising from the Strategy 2025 and the annual Addresses.
In the sphere of criminal prosecution, legal proceedings and the execution of sentences, we will ensure a further reduction in the repressiveness of law enforcement.
A package of amendments is being prepared to improve criminal and criminal procedure legislation. We will take comprehensive coordinating measures to counter the shadow economy, corruption, transnational crime and drug trafficking.
In the field of public interest protection, in addition to eliminating the prerequisites of social problems, we will focus our efforts on ensuring the entrepreneurs rights and reducing administrative barriers.
Within the framework of the state program "Digital Kazakhstan" we will continue to expand the range of IT technologies in law enforcement. If last year more than 15,000 electronic criminal cases were investigated on misdemeanors and crimes of minor gravity, this year we will cover the category of medium gravity.
An “electronic administrative case” is being consistently introduced.
In the current year, besides the police and the Transport Control Committee, about 15 authorized bodies are planning to transfer to the preparation of administrative proceedings in electronic format.
In general, the solution of these problems is our direct duty to the state and society. Their effective implementation will effectively contribute to strengthening the rule of law and improving the well-being of Kazakhstan citizens.
Kadisha Nygmet conducted an interview