Massimov case: the purpose of this article is to reveal the problem of Kazakhstan compliance with norms and strict adherence to the letter of the law. On June 5, Kazakhstan held a referendum in which citizens of the country voted for the adoption of the New Constitution, the main purpose of which is to give a historic start to New Kazakhstan, the Second Republic, as well as to mark the end of the Nazarbayev era, leaving behind a system that is mired in widespread corruption.

Did the second President of Kazakhstan do it? In general, yes. The goal has been achieved. 77% with a turnout of 68% voted for New Kazakhstan. But if you look at the figures regarding the electorate, it is more than half (52%), which actually reflects that Kazakhstani society has not yet consolidated around the second President and remains divided.

The main reason for this is the lack of a single official narrative on the January events for more than 6 months, the lack of transparent investigation, accompanied by murders, torture, arbitrary detentions of participants in January protests. To the international reaction about these events, the response of the official authorities of Kazakhstan – reforms of the judicial and the law enforcement system, there will be new market and equal rules of the game for participants in the economy, new rules of political and open competition in Parliament, for the implementation of which a new stage of rulemaking is being launched. Is it really true that it is necessary to wait for changes and that the current system does not allow transparent justice to be upheld?

If we analyze Kazakhstan’s criminal legislation, with the exception of some individual points, it complies with the principles of human rights protection and the administration of justice on the principles of equality of all before the law and equality of both defense and prosecution. Moreover, in Kazakhstan, the principles of the presumption of innocence, the supremacy of the Constitutional Rights of citizens are put above criminal legislation, while prohibiting any actions aimed at humiliating the honor and pleading dignity of a person who participates in criminal proceedings. It is also prohibited to use any evidence obtained through torture, deception, threats and intimidation as evidence of guilt.

Compliance with these principles would be enough to stop all criminal cases against many innocent victims of law enforcement agencies of citizens of Kazakhstan. If the reality of Kazakhstan was strictly implemented by the letter of the law, then for violation of the same principles, the judicial system of any other democratic country would declare all these criminal cases invalid and illegal.

As already recorded by international human rights organizations, the Qantar2022 group – there are arbitrary detentions, people under torture, threats for confessions.

Even with regard to Karim Massimov and the deputy chairmans of the KNB, despite the attention of the UN working group on arbitrary detentions, disregard of the rule of law is present, disrupting the unshakable principles of criminal investigation. Due to the secrecy of the case, it is still unclear why Massimov is charged under the articles of treason with clarification about the transition to the side of the enemy in armed time and why is the charge being built on an attempted state seizure with clarification in order to obtain personal gain? Are these accusations related to the January events? 

In January, after 6 months, there is still no single official version of events: therefore, there is a lot of conspiracy and assumptions. Unfortunately, which version of the January events worked and their connection with Massimov is unlikely to be available to publicly. At the same time, in March this year, information directly related to the investigation was published on social networks. In particular, photos of money and residences were published, which are allegedly evidence of an economic offense. On March 14, the Prosecutor General announced that Massimov would be charged with 17 years in prison, as if it had already been resolved.

This whole situation proves that the problem of Kazakhstan is not in new laws, but in compliance with norms and strict adherence to the letter of the law. Until President Tokayev begins to correct the situation related to the victims of the January events, it will be very difficult to start the Second Republic.