ASTANA, Jan 26 (Central Asia Newswire). Kazakhstan’s Prosecutor-General on Wednesday said that top-ranking local police officials as well as current and former heads of state-run oil companies will be charged for Zhanaozen-related crimes.
Four top members of the local police force will be charged for their improper use of weapons during the December 16 skirmish, Prosecutor-General Askhat Daulbayev said in a statement released on his office’s web site.
Videos released of the Zhanaozen violence showed police firing live rounds into crowds.
Daulbayev also made the statement on state channel Khabar.
The deputy head of Mangystau province’s department of internal affairs (DIA) Utegaliev will be charged for “improper performance of his duties resulting in the absence of action to prevent illegal actions of his subordinate,” Daulbayev said.
Three officials will be charged for the “use of weapon with excess authority leading to the death” of 14 protesters in Zhanaozen. These officials include: the head of DIA’s regional anti-extremist division, Bagdabaev; the first deputy head of the Zhanaozen office of internal affairs, Bakytkaliuly; and DIA Police Inspector Zholdybaev.
The head of the temporary detention facility where deceased inmate Bazarbai Kenzhebaev was held will be charged for illegally detaining the inmate and failing to allow for the inmate’s timely hospitalization.
Former and current heads of KazMunaiGaz (KMG) and OzenMunaiGaz will also be criminally charged for “stealing finances allocated for social and economic support of the local population and workers of the oil industry.”
The prosecutor-general also said he has identified the six organizers of the Zhanaozen riots, while another 23 are also being charged with participation.
Three people are being charged for organizing mass disorder in the town of Shetpe, where one person died on December 16. Another 12 are charged with participating in the skirmish there.
The Kazakh government has come under intense scrutiny since the Zhanaozen incident as human rights activists maintained police engaged in extralegal actions to quell the riots.
Fired oil workers had been demonstrating against OzenMunaiGaz and KMG since May 2011.