Connect with us

International Circuit

Kazakhstan gets back telecoms stake in ‘donation’

Kazakhstan said Tuesday that it had received a large stake in its national telecoms operator in a “donation” by a detained member of ex-president Nursultan Nazarbayev’s once untouchable family.

Businessman Kairat Satybaldy last month became the first relative of Nazarbayev to be arrested since political chaos in January appeared to sideline a fabulously wealthy family that dominated the ex-Soviet nation for decades.

The government’s official Telegram channel said Tuesday that the government had “accepted the offer” of a 24.95 percent stake in majority state-owned national operator Kazakhtelecom from Skyline Investment Company S.A., a Luxembourg-registered company that Satybaldy is listed as owning.

The government said the shares had been transferred to the state as part of “a donation agreement”, inferring that no purchase fee was paid.

Businessman Satybaldy is 81-year-old Nazarbayev’s nephew.

He was seen as a key powerbroker in Central Asia’s richest economy until New Year turmoil that began with protests over a gas price hike suddenly escalated into clashes that left over 200 dead.

In March the anti-corruption agency said Satybaldy was detained on suspicion of embezzling money from Kazakhtelecom and was under investigation for “other crimes breaching the security of the state”.

The exact reason for Kazakhstan’s descent into bloody violence remains unknown and the official account of an attempted coup planned by foreign-linked terrorists remains short on details.

Prior to the violence, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ruled the country under the long shadow of mentor Nazarbayev, who hand-picked him as his successor in 2019 but continued to wield influence over decision-making.

But Tokayev emerged from the chaos emboldened after calling in a detachment of more than 2,000 troops from the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) to bolster government control.

Since then, Tokayev has continued to honour Nazarbayev’s political legacy in public while pledging to tame what he calls “oligopolies” formed under the former president.

Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter, Dariga Nazarbayeva, who was once tipped to take over from her father, resigned from the parliament in February.

Former security chief Karim Massimov a Nazarbayev stalwart was arrested on coup-plotting charges in January. His deputy Samat Abish, also a nephew of Nazarbayev, was dismissed but is not believed to be under investigation.

The Moscow-led troops withdrew from the country in mid-January, with the Kremlin insisting that it had not intervened in Kazakhstan’s “internal affairs” during the instability. AFP

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2022 Communications Today

error: Content is protected !!