Former chairman of National Security of Kazakhstan arrested for treason, and Nazarbayev suddenly appeared

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Karim Massimov, former chairman of the National Security Committee
(Photo: Radio Free Europe)

(ChinaAid, Midland, TX—January 8, 2022) The following article was translated from the Kazakh edition of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:

The website of the National Security Committee of Kazakhstan reports that the former chairman of the institution, Karim Massimov, has been detained for high treason:

On January 6, the National Security Committee launched a pre-trial investigation into treason under Article 175 (1) of the Criminal Code. On the same day, former KNB (Kazakhstan National Security) chairman Massimov and others were detained on suspicion of committing such a crime. All other information is not subject to publication.

Karim Massimov, 56, is a longtime ally of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has ruled Kazakhstan for nearly 30 years.  In 2016, Nazarbayev appointed him chairman of the National Security Committee.  Prior to that, he served as Prime Minister twice, from 2007 to 2012 and 2014 to 2016.

It is unknown who else the KNB detained with Massimov.

On January 6, some Telegram channels reported the arrest of Samat Abish, first deputy chairman of the KNB, and subsequently denied the information.  Samat Abish is a nephew of Nursultan Nazarbayev.  When the leadership of the KNB changed after the tragedy in the country, nothing was said about Samat Abish, only the appointment of a new deputy chairman of the committee.

Journalist Arkady Dubnov wrote on his Facebook page that another of Nazarbayev's nephews, Kairat Satybaldy, had been detained in Dubai and that the former president was in China.  However, this information has not been officially confirmed.

Former President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev
(Photo: Radio Free Europe)

Amid rumors that former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has left the country, his spokesman Aidos Ukibay tweeted:

The president is in the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan. Please do not publish false or speculative information. The president is holding consultative meetings and keeping in touch with President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev.

This is the first statement issued by Nazarbayev's office since the situation in the country deteriorated.

Nazarbayev has not appeared in public since December 28, 2021.  He has not commented on the situation in Kazakhstan since early January.  As the situation escalated in the country, rumors surfaced on the Internet that Nazarbayev had gone abroad.

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