08ASTANA2087, KAZAKHSTAN: JUDICIARY EXPRESSES FURTHER INTEREST IN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ASTANA2087 2008-10-22 04:23 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0964
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW
RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK
RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #2087/01 2960423
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 220423Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3616
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0706
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0107
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0817
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1991
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1940
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2276
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 0833
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0263
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0185
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 002087 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/CEN, DRL/PHD 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM EAID KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  JUDICIARY EXPRESSES FURTHER INTEREST IN 
DEMOCRACY AND GOOD GOVERNANCE 
 
REF: ASTANA 1220 (NOTAL) 
 
ASTANA 00002087  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2. (SBU) SUMMARY: On October 8, USAID led an emergency meeting to 
resolve issues related to the Memorandum of Understanding with the 
Supreme Court of Kazakhstan's Administration Committee.  USAID met 
with the Chairman of the Committee to successfully resolve the 
problem and to discuss future areas for Rule of Law cooperation. 
END SUMMARY. 
 
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BACKGROUND 
 
3. (U) The Memorandum of Understanding between USAID and the Supreme 
Court of Kazakhstan's Administration Committee was signed in 
December 2007 to delineate each party's expectations and commitments 
for modernizing the judiciary through the installation of video 
court recording software and equipment.  Beginning in October 2007, 
USAID's Kazakhstan Judicial Assistance Project (Judicial Project) 
was based on a highly successful pilot program that installed video 
court-recording equipment in the Bostyndyk District Court in Almaty. 
 The Judicial Project is now working with the Supreme Court to 
expand the use of courtroom video recording systems to every oblast 
(province) in Kazakhstan.  The expansion will continue increasing 
the judiciary's transparency, accountability, and effectiveness; it 
also has the goal of creating a stronger and more independent 
judiciary as well as increasing citizen demand for a fair and 
transparent judicial system that responds to their needs. 
 
4. (U) In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding, over the 
next year, the Judicial Project and the Administration Committee 
will install video recording systems into at least 27 courts, train 
court staff in their usage, and oversee their usage and operation. 
As per the Memorandum of Understanding, the Administration Committee 
will purchase all of the video and computer hardware except for the 
six purchased by USAID in the first year of the program, while USAID 
will provide the software for all of the courts.  These 27 courts 
will include 14 oblast courts, the city courts of Almaty and Astana, 
and several rayon (district) courts.  The systems will include 
voice-disguising features to protect the identity of witnesses. 
This expansion includes a considerable cost-share from the Supreme 
Court and represents a nascent political will for judicial reform. 
 
 
TECHNOLOGY ISSUES 
 
5. (SBU) During the last several months, the USAID implementer, 
Chemonics, had begun having problems with the deputy head of the 
Administration Committee, Mr. Ispanov.  Ispanov wanted to purchase 
Kazakhstani-produced video recording hardware that is incompatible 
with the previously agreed to Ukrainian-produced video recording 
software to be purchased by USAID. (NOTE:  The Ukrainian court 
recording software is used throughout Russia and much of the former 
Soviet Union. This software was also previously installed in six 
Kazakh courts as part of the Judicial Project.  END NOTE.)  While 
trying to keep to the Memorandum of Understanding's established 
timeline, Chemonics was working with the Ukrainian software company 
to resolve incompatibility issues with the Kazakhstani produced 
hardware. 
 
6. (SBU) In the midst of trying to resolve the hardware software 
incompatibility problems, Ispanov notified Chemonics on October 6 
that he would "rip up the Memorandum of Understanding."  Chemonics 
explained this threat to USAID, and USAID immediately set up a 
meeting to resolve the issue. 
 
THE MEETINGS AND SOLUTION 
 
7. (SBU) The meeting was attended by Mr. Shamshiyev, the head of the 
 
ASTANA 00002087  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
Apparatus of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan rather than Ispanov or 
any senior member from the Administration Committee -- although they 
had a note-taker present. (NOTE:  The head of the Apparatus of the 
Supreme Court overseas the Court Administration Committee and 
reports directly to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  NOTE.) 
Several other senior members of the Apparatus were in attendance, 
including the head of International Development for the Supreme 
Court.   Shamshiyev apologized for Ispanov and noted that Ispanov 
did not have the power to decide the fate of the Memorandum of 
Understanding.  He stressed, however, tha
t the Supreme Court was no 
longer interested in the Ukrainian software. 
 
8. (SBU) The USAID representative accepted Shamshiyev's decision, 
noting that the United States has a similar policy of purchasing 
products made in the United States when possible.  He argued that 
since the goal of the project was to cooperate in the rollout of a 
country-wide recording system, it did not matter which software was 
used -- as long as the Government of Kazakhstan continued with the 
rollout.  He then proposed that since the Government of Kazakhstan 
was interested in purchasing more software than originally specified 
in the Memorandum of Understanding, perhaps USAID could use its 
money to provide additional training rather than to purchase 
software.  He further proposed that some of the training could 
include capacity-building training that helps the Kazakhstani 
software company as well. (NOTE:  The Kazakhstani software is meant 
to be fully operational by the end of the year -- thus no delay in 
the installation will occur.  END NOTE) 
 
9. (SBU) Shamshiyev was quite happy with this suggestion and 
immediately agreed.  It was then agreed that an amendment would be 
drawn up to formalize the changes discussed.  The main change is 
that USAID will not purchase the remaining 21 sets of video 
recording software; rather, USAID will use its money to provide 
additional regional training programs to the courts using the to-be 
installed video recording systems.  The Administration Committee 
will purchase the new hardware as well as the new Kazakhstani 
software, leaving only the original six courts with the Ukrainian 
software and older equipment.  The result is better than the 
previous Memorandum of Understanding since it allows USAID and its 
implementer to spend more resources on their strength -- capacity 
building -- rather than on commodities, something that the 
Government of Kazakhstan can easily provide. 
 
10. (SBU) The USAID representative then met with Ms. Khuanova, the 
head of International Development of the Supreme Court of 
Kazakhstan, and Ms. Duganova, the sector head of International 
Development of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan, to discuss future 
cooperation in the Rule of Law sector.  USAID recapped the meeting 
in which the former U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan and the Regional 
USAID Mission Director had offered a new partnership with the 
Supreme Court of Kazakhstan after the expiration of the current 
Judicial Project in October 2009.  The Chief Justice was extremely 
interested in the idea and specifically asked for project ideas 
related to World Trade Organization accession (see reftel).  USAID 
then offered ideas related to training judges in preparation for 
World Trade Organization accession. 
 
11. (SBU) Khuanova reconfirmed they would like to pursue a 
partnership in this area, but they were in the process of putting 
their budget together for next year.  As a result, they did not know 
how much they could contribute to a Rule of Law Project at this 
time, but noted that it was important to get the idea in place.  The 
USAID representative noted that the U.S. Government was going 
through the same budget planning process.  (COMMENT:  The Rule of 
Law and Human Rights money for Governing Justly and Democratically 
in Kazakhstan is currently too low to fully fund programs in both 
the Rule of Law and Human Rights sectors in FY 2009.  USAID has 
raised this as an issue with the Bureau for European and Eurasian 
Affairs.  END COMMENT.)  The meeting concluded with both parties 
 
ASTANA 00002087  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
agreeing to exchange further plans after budgets could be confirmed. 
 
 
COMMENT 
 
12. (SBU) The first meeting helped resolve an issue related to 
technology and strengthened our Memorandum of Understanding.  The 
second meeting highlighted the need for USAID to receive additional 
money for Rule of Law programming.  It is important that the U.S. 
Government finds additional money for a new Rule of Law program 
because cooperating with the Supreme Court also presents an 
opportunity to advance United States-Kazakhstan relations in 
addition to supporting Rule of Law development in Kazakhstan.  In 
Central Asia, it is very rare that the U.S. Government has an 
opportunity to partner with a host government on a development 
project.  It is even rarer that they partner together on something 
related to democracy and governance.  In addition to providing 
assistance at a critical juncture, a positive and significant U.S. 
Government response for further cooperation could go a long way to 
furthering relations with Kazakhstan and the region.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

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