"Selectivity" in Elite Circles: Why Experts Are Skeptical about Asset Recovery


On Monday, 29 January 2024, Public figure and lawyer Yevgeny Zhovtis shared his opinion on this issue at the round table discussion "Asset recovery: search for practical solutions, legal aspects, international cooperation and world experience", held in Almaty on January 29., reports Orda.kz .

Asset recovery processes can often be aimed not so much at ensuring fairness as at fulfilling certain political or economic interests, the expert notes.

There is also concern that asset recovery may be limited to certain circles, perpetuating inequalities in society.

Asset recovery has two aspects — political and legal. The first is in the internal political context. That is, are the elite groups in power ready to participate in the real fight against corruption and fully comply with the principles of the law? Will everyone be prosecuted, or will such combating be selective? Will the countries in whose jurisdictions these assets are located be politically interested in real assistance to Kazakhstan, whether it is the United States, Europe or the Persian Gulf countries? argued Zhovtis.

It is necessary to determine what is illegal enrichment and what is not, the public figure stressed, speaking about the legal aspect.

This, in turn, creates very serious challenges in the national legal system, which, for the candor of the experiment, must be independent, strictly observing the principles of the rule of law and fair trial. I have no confidence in the Kazakh legal authorities.

According to Yevgeny Zhovtis, the lack of transparency in dealing with asset recovery issues is also questionable.

How to determine where illegally withdrawn assets are located, and how to separate illegal from legitimate ones when we are dealing with other jurisdictions. There are also questions about the arrest, legal actions for the return, and finally the use of these funds in the future. Where is the guarantee that they will go to good causes? Or worse, that they cannot be used for repeated illicit enrichment?

Over 30 years, millions of dollars have been withdrawn from Kazakhstan. This money could have been used to build schools, hospitals, and other social facilities. The expert concluded that the country already has experience in asset recovery which needs to be used now.

Original Author: Maria Gorbokonenko

DISCLAIMER: This is a translated piece. The text has been modified, the content is the same. Please refer to the original article in Russian for accuracy.

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