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

Moldovan businessman Stati threatens to ask bailiffs to sell Kazakh Kashagan stake in legal battle

Moldovan businessman Anatolie Stati’s spokeswoman said on January 9 that Stati will ask bailiffs to sell a $5.2bn stake in the Kashagan oil field owned by Kazakh sovereign ... more

Kazakhstan cuts grain export forecast as Russia squeezes it out of markets

Kazakhstan has cut its grain export target for the 2017/2018 marketing season to 8mn tonnes of grain from the previously expected 9mn tonnes, Deputy Agriculture Minister ... more

Iran rejects idea that a Caspian Sea settlement is in sight

Iran’s foreign ministry has rejected the suggestion that the five littoral states that share the shore of the Caspian Sea have largely agreed to delineate its maritime borders and settle their ... more

Dismiss