06ASTANA38, KAZAKHSTAN: AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES AIG AND TIP WITH JUSTICE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06ASTANA38 2006-04-24 03:36 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1728
PP RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHAST #0038/01 1140336
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 240336Z APR 06
FM USOFFICE ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0116
INFO RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ALMATY PRIORITY 0108
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0024
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0048
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ASTANA 0118

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000038 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
(C. KUCHTA-HELBLING) AND DRL/CRA (E. RAMBORGER) 
USDOC FOR DAS STEWART, CENTRAL ASIA DESK OFFICER DSTARKS 
USDOC FOR 3150/USCS/OIO/CEENIS/MCOSTA 
USDOC FOR 3133/USCS/OIO/EUR/RD/TBREIDENSTINE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EFIN KCRM KDEM PGOV PREL SMIG KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES AIG AND TIP WITH JUSTICE 
MINISTER 
 
REF: A) ALMATY 1450, B) ASTANA 33, C) ASTANA 5 
 
ASTANA 00000038  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  The Ambassador met with Minister of Justice 
Zagipa Baliyeva on April 18 in Astana.  Baliyeva announced that 
she had signed the AIG settlement agreement that afternoon and 
the Ministry of Finance was expected to arrange payment shortly. 
 The Ambassador raised concerns about statistics produced by the 
Ministry of Justice (MOJ) for the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) 
Report.  Baliyeva acknowledged some problems, while highlighting 
progress over the past year and plans to address weaknesses in 
anti-TIP efforts.  Also attending the meeting was Timur 
Isabekov, the new Head of the Department of International 
Relations, who previously worked on resolution of the AIG case. 
End Summary. 
 
AIG: SIGNED AT LAST 
 
------------------- 
 
2.  (SBU) Baliyeva opened the meeting by announcing that she had 
signed the AIG settlement agreement hours earlier, that very 
afternoon.  Clearly relieved that the matter was settled, 
Baliyeva raised a "toast" to the occasion with mineral water. 
The Ministry of Finance is expected to arrange payment of the 
settlement without delay (see Ref A). 
 
ANTI-TRAFFICKING: PROGRESS AND AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT 
 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
 
3.  (SBU) Turning to TIP, Baliyeva proudly pointed to 
Kazakhstan's progress in combating trafficking in persons over 
the past year, including March passage of TIP amendments (Ref B) 
and the April 10 adoption of the 2006 - 2008 National Plan of 
Action to Combat TIP ("National Plan").  Since her February 
meeting with the Ambassador (Ref C), Baliyeva has ordered 
monthly meetings of the TIP interagency working group, which she 
invited Poloff to attend.  She noted that the MOJ was expanding 
distribution of its TIP education and prevention booklet (Ref C) 
to grade schools and to international airports and train 
stations within Kazakhstan. 
 
4.  (SBU) The Ambassador commended Baliyeva on these 
achievements, but noted that the number of prosecutions for TIP 
in 2005 was low, and the GOK had had a difficult time providing 
statistics Post requested.  While praising the hard work done by 
police and prosecutors in combating TIP crimes, Baliyeva 
acknowledged the problem and promised to raise the issue at a 
meeting of the TIP commission and come up with recommendations 
to appropriate agencies on how to improve.  She pointed to two 
legislative changes that would improve the GOK's law enforcement 
response to TIP: the March TIP Amendments and the proposed 
national program of legal development, currently being discussed 
at the interagency level, which creates a stronger role for 
defense lawyers in the judiciary process.  Investigators, 
Baliyeva believed, would have to sharpen evidence collection 
skills to bring successful convictions in all criminal cases. 
 
5. (SBU) Ambassador Ordway noted the increasing international 
attention devoted to combating TIP, an area where the U.S. has 
long had an interest.  He mentioned the upcoming May 18-19 OSCE 
regional anti-trafficking conference in Astana, which will put 
Kazakhstan in the spotlight, giving the GOK a chance to show how 
far it has come.  Baliyeva said that she would be attending the 
conference and planned to make a presentation. 
 
LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES 
 
----------------------- 
 
6. (SBU) The MOJ, which acts as a legal think tank, is the 
principal drafter of civil and administrative legislation within 
the government.  Baliyeva mentioned three working groups that 
are currently working on a significant body of amendments to the 
civil and administrative codes, and to several statutes.  She 
noted that a fourth working group under the Procurator General's 
Office is working on reforms to the Criminal and Criminal 
Procedure codes. (Note: No further information was given as to 
the subject matter of the proposed amendments.  End note.) 
 
PENAL REFORM AND ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING 
 
--------------------------------------- 
 
ASTANA 00000038  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
 
7. (SBU) Baliyeva turned next to prison supervision issues. 
Over the past few years, Kazakhstan has reduced prison 
populations by decriminalizing certain minor offenses, by 
developing a system of alternative punishments, and by granting 
amnesty for certain crimes.  (Note: President Nazarbayev 
announced a large scale amnesty for the New Year, which is &#x000A
;currently being implemented.  End note.)  With OSCE technical 
assistance, the MOJ is working on wider implementation of 
probation as an alternate sentence. Baliyeva estimated that 
44,000 prisoners are currently in the system, but she expects 
that 2,000 will be released under the amnesty, bringing 
Kazakhstan to 35th place worldwide in terms of number of 
prisoners.  Successful implementation of probation and other 
elements of the national legal program would result in further 
reduction of the number of prisoners. 
 
8. (SBU) Besides reducing the prison population, the MOJ plans 
to reduce overcrowding by building eight new low- security men's 
prisons, each housing 300 prisoners.  The new prisons will meet 
international standards, and will have libraries, gyms, and 
visitors' rooms.  Future programs will improve conditions in 
women's prisons and juvenile detention facilities.  Baliyeva was 
proud to announce that she reached an MOJ agreement with the 
Education Ministry to open a separate department at law 
institutes to train specialists to work with prisoners and 
prison staff. 
TRACY

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