first paragraph should have made it clear that Rahat Aliev is the son of 
President Nursultan Nazarbaev's daughter Dariga Nazarbaeva. A corrected version 
of the story follows below. We apologise for any confusion caused by the error.


entries to the Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism is just two weeks 
away. Two annual prizes of $5,000 each are awarded - one to an international 
freelance print/internet-based reporter; and the second to a local journalist 
in the developing world. The deadline for receipt of emailed or posted entries 
is June 15th. 
The awards are being administered by IWPR, on behalf of the Kurt Schork 
Memorial Fund, with the two winners celebrated at an event to be held in London 
in November. A video of last year’s event hosted by Christiane Amanpour of CNN 
can be seen on IWPR’s website www.iwpr.net 
For details on how to apply electronically or by post, contact Alan Davis 
([EMAIL PROTECTED]) or click here 

closed in 2006, it donated its searchable Trial Reports Archive to IWPR in 
recognition of our own reporting work and to ensure these courtroom reports 
would remain available to the public. Milosevic and other ICTY Trial Reports as 
well as Sierra Leone Reports are now available at 

MIANEH is a new, independent web-based initiative run as a project by the 
Institute for War & Peace Reporting. Mianeh aims to be an open space for ideas, 
news and debate where writers in Iran can reach out to each other as well as to 
those outside the country who are interested in learning more about the vibrant 
and dynamic society that is Iran today. Go to <http://www.mianeh.net/> to find 
out more.

NEW PODCAST: THIS WEEK ON IWPR A regular audio programme produced by IWPR US, 
highlighting IWPR news and analysis on issues of conflict, human rights and 
international justice, written by our contributors around the world. To listen 
to the programme or for details on how to subscribe see 

IRAQ PHOTO DIARIES, NIGHT RAIDS: Peter van Agtmael documents the late-night 
raids carried out by American and Iraqi troops against the homes of suspected 
insurgents. This series of photographs was awarded a 2nd place in the General 
News Stories category at the World Press Photo Awards in 2007. 

NEWS BRIEFING CENTRAL ASIA is a new concept in regional reporting, comprising 
analysis and “news behind the news” in Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, 
Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Available at: www.NBCentralAsia.net 

**** www.iwpr.net 

REPORTING CENTRAL ASIA RSS: http://www.iwpr.net/en/rca/rss.xml 

TURKMEN RADIO: INSIDE VIEW is an IWPR radio training and broadcast project for 
Turkmenistan. View at: http://www.iwpr.net/?p=trk&s=p&o=-&apc_state=henh 

RECEIVE FROM IWPR: Readers are urged to subscribe to IWPR's full range of free 
electronic publications at: 

GIVE TO IWPR: IWPR is wholly dependent upon grants and donations. For more 
information about how you can support IWPR go to: 

**** www.iwpr.net 


The authorities move against a powerful political figure despite his family 

By Daur Dosybiev in Almaty

Married to the president's daughter and occupying a series of high-profile 
positions, Rahat Aliev seemed to be part of an untouchable inner circle in 
Kazak politics. But in the last two weeks he has gone from being ambassador to 
Austria to a wanted suspect, and his career now seems irreparable.

Analysts say the arrest warrant for Aliev, formerly deputy head of Kazakstan's 
intelligence agency, the National Security Committee, head of the presidential 
security service, and deputy foreign minister, is the culmination of a murky 
conflict pitting factions against each other within the political hierarchy 
created by President Nursultan Nazarbaev.

Aliev is married to the president's elder daughter Dariga, a prominent 
politician with a seat in parliament and head of the Kazakstan Congress of 

On May 23, Kazakstan's interior ministry announced that Aliev had been charged 
in connection with the abduction and assault of two officials of Nurbank, in 
which he is a key shareholder. 

Abilmajen Gilimov, at the time chairman of Nurbank, and his deputy Joldas 
Timraliev, disappeared in January. After their release a day later, they 
resigned from the bank. Family members alleged that they had been beaten to 
force them to give up shareholdings in Nurbank and sign away the building. 

Ten associates of Aliev - including several who had worked for him in the 
presidential security service - were also charged on May 23. 

The interior ministry said investigations were also focusing on alleged links 
to organised crime and unspecified financial crimes.

The following day, the prosecutor general ministry suspended Aliev's KTK 
television channel and newspaper Karavan from operating. The official reason 
was that they were not carrying enough material in Kazak, as they are legally 
required to do. But the media outlets had carried material that presented 
Aliev's side of the story.

Aliev was packed off to Vienna in February after the kidnapping allegations 
surfaced, as ambassador to Austria and to the Organisation for Security and 
Cooperation in Europe, OSCE, which Kazakstan hopes to chair in 2009.

But on May 26, after the criminal charges were brought against Aliev, Nazarbaev 
sacked him from both positions. 

The question now is whether he will return to face charges. On May 30, 
Kazakstan submitted a formal request to the Austrian authorities to extradite 
him. Stripped of his diplomatic immunity, he has now applied for political 

Aliev has previously denied any connection with the abductions, filing 
defamation suits against the wives of Gilimov and Timraliev for allegations 
they had made against him. 

In a statement circulated on May 29 in the Kazak media, Aliev suggested he was 
being victimised merely because he told his father-in-law in private that he 
too would like to be president one day. 

"A few months ago I told Nursultan Abishevich [Nazarbaev] that I'd decided to 
stand as a candidate in the next presidential election in 2012. It would be a 
natural progression for my political career," he said. 

He said the charges against him were "open lawlessness and a return to the 
totalitarian past". 

"As for the attack on the bank [ie the alleged abductions], I will say the 
following - the situation is becoming absurd in the extreme," he said, listing 
a number of grave flaws in the way the interior ministry was conducting the 
case. "A case is being fabricated against me and people close to me." 

Referring to the temporary closure of KTK and Karavan, he added, "At the same 
time, popular independent TV companies and newspapers are being closed down 
merely because they have covered the events that are happening." 

Aliev has been a political thorn in Nazarbaev's side for some time. In 2001, a 
group of businessmen believed to be in favour with the president wrote to the 
Kazak parliament accusing Aliev of attempting to move in on their businesses 
and assets. 

This year, Aliev and his father publicly embarrassed Nazarbaev by criticising 
an amendment to the constitution - now passed - which will allow him to stand 
for an unlimited number of terms in office.

That perceived disloyalty may have predisposed Nazarbaev not to back his 
son-in-law in the event of another public scandal. However, it seems that he 
was forced to take action by the interior ministry's revelations, rather than 
choosing the timing himself.

The way the allegations came out and the swiftness with which the authorities 
moved to prosecute Aliev suggest that he has lost out in an ongoing war between 
competing political and business groups - all of them regime insiders, but with 
differing interests and allegiances.

These groupings consist of banks, financial institutions and industrial 
companies headed by high-profile figures with an inside track to the corridors 
of political power. 

On May 22, Aliev announced publicly that he was in possession of documents 
containing damaging information about the mayor of Almaty, Imangali 
Tasmagambetov, and Interior Minister Baurjan Mukhamejanov. 

By the following day, Gilimov was speaking on the state television channel 
Astana, alleging that it was Aliev personally, along with armed accomplices, 
who kidnapped him and Timraliev back in January and held them hostage for about 
24 hours, threatening to kill them if they did not sign over their bank assets. 

Criminal charges were brought against Aliev the same day.

On May 30, a group of leading businessmen, including the heads of three major 
banks and a number of successful companies, made a statement to the media 
expressing support for the president and attacking Aliev.

"Many of us have experienced his [Aliev's] methods of doing business and using 
law-enforcement agencies to apply political pressure for his own ends. Any one 
of us could have been in the place of the kidnapped bankers," said the 

According to local human rights advocate Yevgeny Zhovtis, the balance of power 
has clearly shifted away from those associated with Aliev to others, which are 
underlining their loyalty to the head of state.

"It is clear that there is a kind of consensus among the majority of groupings 
about the war against Aliev's group. And as long as the president doesn't 
change his mind for other reasons - such as family ties - Aliev's political 
future is unenviable, to put it mildly," he said. 

An official in the Almaty mayor's office, who wished to remain anonymous, 
agrees that Aliev's fate is sealed.

"He went too far," he said. Referring to the reported rivalry between Aliev and 
other business factions, he said it was inevitable that one side was going to 
win, "They [both sides] were openly taking businesses away from each other, and 
you can't do that and go unpunished. On this occasion, Aliev went after his 
father-in-law's friends."

A defiant Aliev has insisted that he remains a political player. 
"I want to make it clear that I am always going to be in politics. I'm going to 
do everything in my power to prevent the country sliding backwards into the 
totalitarian Soviet past," he said in his statement.
"I know I have many, many supporters in our country. I am convinced the future 
is ours, not yours, Mr President-for-Life." 
With an international arrest warrant bearing his name and an extradition 
request filed in Vienna, Aliev's immediate future looks unpromising. 

Yet there is still the matter of his family ties to the president, which some 
analysts think might end in a face-saving arrangement rather than a 
high-profile trial.

"It's one thing to charge Aliev the official, but another thing to charge the 
husband of your eldest daughter," commented political analyst Andrei 

Chebotarev thinks Aliev could be banished to some distant foreign posting, or 
if there is no rapprochement, reconfigure himself as an opposition leader in 

According to Eduard Poletaev, the chief editor of the Mir Yevrazii magazine, if 
Aliev were brought to trial, he might try to defend himself by making damaging 
claims against Nazarbaev and his entourage 

"Our leadership's image is already shaky in the wake of 'Kazakgate' and the 
other corruption cases that have come to light," said Poletaev, referring to 
the ongoing trial in the United State in which James Giffen, a former advisor 
to Nazarbaev, is accused of facilitating the payment of massive bribes by US 
oil companies to top Kazak officials.

But Poletaev thinks the very fact that so much is known about these allegations 
would reduce the impact of any new revelations Aliev might come up with, "so 
there's no point in blackmailing anyone with such material".

In the short term, said Poletaev, Aliev's future may depend on the prosecution 
and trial of Aliev's associates. "A lot depends on how quickly these people are 
brought into custody, and what they say," he said.

Independent journalist Sergei Duvanov believes that Aliev's fate is not sealed 
yet, as the case against him rests on statements made by injured parties and 
witnesses, and these could still be retracted or changed.

"I wouldn't be surprised if the whole situation is reversed so that Aliev 
becomes the victim and other people the accused," he said.

Daur Dosybiev is an IWPR contributor in Almaty.

**** www.iwpr.net 

REPORTING CENTRAL ASIA provides the international community with a unique 
insiders' perspective on the region. Using our network of local journalists, 
the service publishes news and analysis from across Central Asia on a weekly 

The service forms part of IWPR's Central Asia Project based in Almaty, Bishkek, 
Tashkent and London, which supports media development and encourages better 
local and international understanding of the region.

IWPR's Reporting Central Asia is supported by the UK Community Fund. The 
service is published online in English and Russian. 

The opinions expressed in Reporting Central Asia are those of the authors and 
do not necessarily represent those of the publication or of IWPR.

REPORTING CENTRAL ASIA: Editor-in-Chief: Anthony Borden; Managing Editor: Yigal 
Chazan; Senior Editor: John MacLeod; Central Asia Programme Manager: Saule 
Mukhametrakhimova; Editor in Bishkek: Kumar Bekbolotov.

IWPR Project Development and Support: Executive Director: Anthony Borden; 
Strategy & Assessment Director: Alan Davis; Managing Director: Tim Williams.

**** www.iwpr.net 

IWPR builds democracy at the frontlines of conflict and change through the 
power of professional journalism. IWPR programs provide intensive hands-on 
training, extensive reporting and publishing, and ambitious initiatives to 
build the capacity of local media. Supporting peace-building, development and 
the rule of law, IWPR gives responsible local media a voice.

Institute for War & Peace Reporting
48 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8LT, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7831 1030  Fax: +44 (0)20 7831 1050

For further details on this project and other information services and media 
programmes, go to: www.iwpr.net 

ISSN: 1477-7924 Copyright © 2007 The Institute for War & Peace Reporting 

**** www.iwpr.net 

If you wish to change your subscription details or unsubscribe please go to:  

Reply via email to