Date Set For Trial Of Kyrgyz Tycoon Placed Under U.S. Magnitsky Sanctions

BISHKEK -- The trial of the former deputy chief of Kyrgyzstan's Customs Service, Raimbek Matraimov, who was placed on the U.S. Magnitsky sanctions list for his alleged involvement in the illegal funneling of hundreds of millions of dollars abroad, will start on February 3.

The Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan said on January 27 that the case will be tried in the Bishkek Birinchi Mai district court.

Matraimov was detained on corruption charges in October 2020 and placed under house arrest.

Kyrgyz authorities said at the time that he had agreed to pay about 2 billion soms ($23.5 million) in preliminary damages to the state through an economic-amnesty bill that allows individuals who obtained financial assets through illegal means to avoid prosecution by turning the assets over to the State Treasury. If the court decides not to pursue jail time, it can assess full damages at trial.

In June 2019, an investigation by RFE/RL, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, and Kloop implicated Matraimov in a corruption scheme involving the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars out of Kyrgyzstan by Chinese-born Uyghur businessman Aierken Saimaiti, who was assassinated in Istanbul in November 2019.

In early December 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that it had slapped sanctions on Matraimov for his role in a vast corruption and money-laundering scheme.

The $700 million scheme involved a company controlled by Matraimov bribing officials to skirt around customs fees and regulations, as well as engaging in money laundering, “allowing for maximum profits,” the Treasury Department said.

The sanctions fell under the Magnitsky Act, a piece of legislation passed by the United States in 2012 that penalizes individuals responsible for committing human rights violations or acts of significant corruption.

Last week, a spokesperson for Kyrgyzstan's state registration service, Damira Azimbaeva, confirmed to RFE/RL that both Matraimov and his wife, Uulkan Turgunova, had changed their surnames.

Earlier reports said that Raimbek Matraimov had changed his last name into Ismailov, and his wife had changed her surname into Sulaimanova, which many considered as a move to evade the U.S.-imposed sanctions.

There have been no official statements from the lawyers of Matraimov's family to explain the decision to change surnames.

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

Related news
Supporters Of Jailed Ukrainian Activist Rally In Kyiv.

Supporters Of Jailed Ukrainian Activist Rally In Kyiv.

Over 1,000 supporters of Ukrainian activist Serhiy Sternenko marched through central Kyiv and rallied at the Prosecutor-General’s Office calling for his and the interior minister’s resignation on February 27. Earlier this week, Sternenko, a former...

Radio Free Europe

Armenian Opposition Continues Protests Against Prime Minister.

Armenian Opposition Continues Protests Against Prime Minister.

Several thousand opposition supporters rallied in the capital, Yerevan, on February 27 demanding Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian's resignation over his handling of last year's war with Azerbaijan that ended with a Russian-brokered cease-fire agreem...

Radio Free Europe

Ingraham: World leaders must challenge China, boycott Beijing Olympics.

Ingraham: World leaders must challenge China, boycott Beijing Olympics.

Laura Ingraham calls out world leaders for lax response to China's crimes against humanity. #FoxNews #Ingraham Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news...

CPAC 2021 Live: Conference opens with Ron DeSantis & Senator Ted Cruz.

CPAC 2021 Live: Conference opens with Ron DeSantis & Senator Ted Cruz.

Conservative activists and elected officials from across the United States and beyond attend CPAC 2021 in Orlando. The conference opens with remarks by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Senator Ted Cruz. Schedule 1330 - Welcome Prayer: David Malka...

15 1329

EU leaders agree to introduce COVID-19 vaccine passports - DW News.

EU leaders agree to introduce COVID-19 vaccine passports - DW News.

The European Union has agreed to develop a COVID-19 vaccine passport that could ease border crossings, and allow people more freedom to travel again. EU leaders met for a virtual summit to discuss coordination. They're already under pressure over ...

1 117

Mark Meadows: Biden's not following the science, he's following the money.

Mark Meadows: Biden's not following the science, he's following the money.

Former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows reacts to president Biden's latest policies and previews former President Trump's speech at CPAC. #FoxNews #Hannity Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel ...

First guests forced to stay in £1,750 quarantine are finally released from ‘prison’ hotels.

First guests forced to stay in £1,750 quarantine are finally released from ‘prison’ hotels.

The first guests forced to stay in £1,750 quarantine are finally released from 'prison’ hotels Around 1,200 people are staying in the government-approved quarantine hotels. Guests forced to stay in quarantine hotels raced out of their rooms just a...

Biden orders airstrikes on Iranian-backed militias in Syria.

Biden orders airstrikes on Iranian-backed militias in Syria.

The US military struck a site in Syria used by two Iranian-backed militia groups in response to rocket attacks on American forces in the region in the past two weeks. "Up to a handful" of militants were killed in the strikes, a US official told CN...