Former Kazakh sports minister sentenced to 14 years in prison for corruption

By bne IntelliNews June 10, 2016

Kazakhstan’s former sports minister Talgat Yermegiyayev was sentenced to 14 years in prison for taking bribes, while organising a major international expo, local media reported on June 9.

A court in Astana found Yermegiyayev, 47, guilty of embezzling over KZT5.9bn (€15.7mn), while in charge of Astana EXPO 2017, the state company organising the event. The court ordered Yermegiyayev to repay the full amount to Astana EXPO 2017, which he headed from 2013 to 2015. Yermegiyayev was minister of sports and tourism in 2011-12.

The lawsuit represents one of the biggest corruption cases in the oil-rich Central Asian country. Image-obsessed Kazakhstan regularly bids to stage multi-billion-dollar global events such as the EXPO and Olympics as a way to enhance its reputation and project an image of itself as a major player on the international stage. Yet rampant government corruption often invites scandals that defeat the whole point of the exercise. The EXPO is estimating to cost the country $3bn.

Along with Yermegiyayev there were a further 22 defendants, 12 of whom were given various sentences of up to three years in prison. The company officials were accused of embezzling KZT10.2bn. Yermegiyayev maintained his innocence and his lawyers said they would appeal the sentence.

Related Articles

Romanian authorities approve takeover of 51% in KMGI by China's CEFC

The Romanian authorities have approved the transaction through which China Energy Company (CEFC) is taking over 51% of KazMunayGas International (KMGI), the majority shareholder in Romania’s ... more

Kazakhstan Stock Exchange Index up by 72% y/y as of July 19

The Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE) Index increased by 72% y/y to July 19, Frontera analytics agency reported on July 25. The rise in the index was ... more

Evolution Equity Partners closes $125mn cybersecurity-focused fund

Evolution Equity Partners announced on 17 July the final closing of a new fund with total capital commitments of $125mn to make investments in cybersecurity and next generation enterprise software ... more