Masimov's Fate

More than three weeks have passed since Karim Masimov’s dismissal and his subsequent arrest. Nonetheless, there have been no leaks of information as to his situation — where he is being kept, what investigative operations are being conducted, who is defending him. It seems like the man who, until very recently, has been regarded as one of the most influential people in the country has sunk into oblivion.

We at think this is not a coincidence but the result of the intense negotiating that is happening «under the carpet» — for how long will Masimov be imprisoned, on what charge and how much (and with what) will he have to pay for leniency. May be not right now when the situation in the country is still far from being stable but when the dust settles.

Below we will explain why we are so certain of that. But first, let us remind you that, even though, in Kazakhstan and beyond, the decision to dismiss the man thought of as Nursultan Nazarbayev’s trusted person from the post of the NSC chief was regarded as solidifying the position of the second President, according to our insiders, the decision to dismiss and arrest Masimov was made not by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev but by the Elbasy himself.

In our publication «Why Was Masimov Arrested?», we admit that we do not know exactly why Nursultan Nazarbayev got so angry with his trusted ally. But we do offer a suggestion that this was a result of the emotional shock overlapping with the sober assessment of the consequences of the January events and the threats that they pose. 

We also mention that, in such situations, people like Nursultan Nazarbayev always look for scapegoats in order to dump on them their anger, irritation and fear. And the list of the Elbasy’s allies deserving of such fate is extremely limited. In includes the President, the Prime Minister, the Chief of the NSC and the Minister of Interior.

We also explain why, in our opinion, Karim Masimov was the one chosen from the list (quoting) — 

«It looks like Karim Masimov was singled out from this narrow circle due to the fact that Askar Mamin had already been dismissed (not to mention he was not in charge of the siloviks) while Erlan Turgumbayev was needed to restore the order in the country since it is the police that constitutes the basis of the law-enforcement vertical. As for Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, dismissing him would not only be very difficult but also dangerous.

According to our insiders, it was the mistakes made by Karim Masimov who, normally very cautious, this time seemed to have failed to realise the gravity of the moment that had played an important part in choosing him as the main scapegoat.

Instead of taking initiative and assuming responsibility, he had practically disengaged himself from managing the agency. Moreover, he had recommended some of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s relatives (they name Timur and Dinara Kulibayevs) to leave the country immediately which they did thus spreading panic among the officials and the siloviks».

Unfortunately, because of the state of emergency that, de-facto, was lifted only on January 26, 2022, as well as due to the widespread chaos that affected the NSC whose leadership had been cardinally renewed by Tokayev, the information we have been receiving is extremely vague and fragmented.

Nonetheless, it is already clear that Karim Masimov and his employees (or accomplices) have committed no treason.

You will recall that, first, the former chief of the NSC was accused of high treason, namely, of what is stipulated in Part 1 of Article 175 of the Kazakh Criminal Code.

After the arrest of the two former deputy chiefs of the NSC, Daulet Ergozhin and Anuar Sadykulov, word leaked out that, together with Karim Masimov, they were suspected of committing the acts aimed to seize power and of abuse of authority.

Part 1 of Article 175 of the Kazakh Criminal Code titled «High Treason» says the following.

«1. High treason or voluntary acts of a citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan such as taking the side of the enemy during an armed conflict, espionage, giving away state secrets to a foreign state, an international of a foreign organisation or their representatives as well as providing them with any other kind of assistance in their operations against the national interests of the Republic of Kazakhstan is punishable by ten to fifteen years in prison and by revoking the Kazakh citizenship (or otherwise)».

According to our insiders in the halls of power, the accusation of Karim Masimov, his two ex-deputies and a significant number of former NSC employees including several dismissed leaders of the regional departments (all in all, there will be no more than six defendants) of high treason is likely to quietly die down. 

To uncover such acts and then prove their realness is like looking for a black cat in a dark room. And did we mention that the cat is not there?

Apart from that, accusing such well-known and influential people of high treason (in other words, in this particular instance, of «espionage, giving away state secrets to a foreign state, an international of a foreign organisation or their representatives as well as providing them with any other kind of assistance in their operations against the national interests») may turn out to be politically dangerous for both Nursultan Nazarbayev and Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as well.

Because then, the question will arise to which neither they nor (especially) the Kazakh siloviks can give an answer — in whose interests were the defendants acting? Russia’s? China’s? The USA’s? The European Union’s? Or the Taliban’s?

Due to Kazakhstan’s infamous multi-vector policy, its extreme frailty in the face of external sanctions and the unwillingness to become the victim of such, Akorda is bound to abstain from answering this question.

Of course, there is a chance that Karim Masimov and his allies will be accused of working for Mukhtar Ablyazov. However, in this case, the political damage may turn out to be much greater than the political gains. One has to agree that, if the leadership of the country’s main security service is working for this émigré residing in Paris, it must mean that Mukhtar Ablyazov possesses huge political potential and has many allies in the said country.

It is probably for this very reason that the additional accusations of committing the acts aimed to seize power and of abusing authority have been brought forth. The investigators will find it much easier to «prove» them — Karim Masimov and Daulet Ergozhin’s testimonies (that they are certain to give) should be enough.

As for Anuar Sadykulov, according to our insiders, he is made of a different «matter» and is likely to refuse to cop a plea. Of course, this as well as the fact that, for many years, he has been the chief of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s security, is not going to help him.

Since the investigation, the subsequent trial, its materials and the sentencing (except the final part) will be deemed classified, the public will probably never learn what Karim Masimov and his allies (accomplices) actually did. Moreover, we are certain that their friends and families as well as the lawyers are going to keep quiet regarding this topic.

So, in our opinion, the fates of the accused people have been sealed. However, they may turn out to be not as unfortunate as it seems today. Read our next publication on the subject to find out why we think so.


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