Ex-Kazakh safety chief arrested on suspicion of ‘excessive treason’

Karim Masimov, the previous chief of Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee (KNB) was arrested earlier this week together with different unidentified suspects as a part of a probe into “high treason,” the safety company mentioned on Saturday.

The KNB had launched a pre-trial investigation on January 6, it mentioned in an announcement, including that its former chairman, Masimov, and others had been arrested and positioned in pre-trial detention on the identical day. The company offered no additional particulars on the case, citing the continuing investigation.

A veteran politician, Masimov, had served as the top of the KNB from 2016 almost till his detention. He was sacked by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on January 5, amid an outbreak of violence in Kazakhstan’s largest metropolis, Almaty, the place rioters stormed and ransacked authorities buildings and set them on fireplace.

Over the previous week, Kazakhstan has seen unprecedented protests, which have been sparked by surging gasoline costs. The demonstrations turned violent and shortly spiraled into large-scale riots that affected a number of of the nation’s areas. The riots, which Kazakh officers blamed on “bandits and terrorists,” have resulted in dozens being killed, each civilians and legislation enforcement brokers. Almost 4,000 folks had been detained as of Friday.

On Friday, Tokayev claimed that constitutional order had been “mainly restored” in all of the areas. Earlier, a former aide to Kazakhstan’s first president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, mentioned the disaster had been prompted by numerous high-ranking officers, together with safety officers, whom he accused of “betraying” the nation.

The aide, Ermukhamet Ertysbayev, who additionally as soon as served because the tradition minister, described the violent riots as a “coup attempt” and an “armed insurrection” that will have been unattainable with out there having been “treason by top government and law enforcement officials.” He didn’t title any particular person specifically, nevertheless.

Masimov himself was an in depth ally of Nazarbayev. He served because the nation’s prime minister twice – between 2007 and 2012 in addition to between 2014 and 2016 – and headed up the presidential workplace between 2012 and 2014.

Meanwhile, the KNB has dismissed studies concerning the arrest of Masimov’s first deputy, Lieutenant General Samat Abish. The company known as such studies a “provocation.” Abish is Nazarbayev’s nephew.

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