What’s Next for Kayrat Satybaldy?

Since Kayrat Satybaldy’s arrest on March 13, 2022, when he was attempting to fly privately from Almaty to Dubai (UAE), no further news about him has been released. And, only a couple of days ago, they revealed unofficial information that Nursultan Nazarbayev’s eldest nephew intends to get out of jail at the end of summer 2022.

As the KazTAG agency has been informed by its sources, Kayrat Satybaldy intends to give away all the assets claimed by the state and walk free.

Prior to this, on April 12, 2022, the Kazakh Prime Minister’s website published a brief announcement that the Kazakh government had adopted a resolution (number and date not specified) on assuming public ownership over the generous gift by Kayrat Satybaldy (the offshore Skyline Investment Company S.A. and Alatau Capital Investment LLP he owns) – 2671481 shares and 413412 ordinary shares of Kazakhtelecom JSC constituting 24.95% and 3.85% of the national company’s chartered capital.

This unexpected and overly generous gift presented by Kayrat Satybaldy to his motherland, apart from other things, serves as an admission of guilt. Recall that Satybaldy has been accused of “abuse of authority and embezzlement of Kazakhtelecom’s funds on an especially large scale”. Upon admitting his guilt, he’s decided (most likely, on someone’s tip) to compensate the damage.

Of course, we must not regard it as the NSC’s achievement. Clearly, in this particular case, the investigators have been pursuing a task of ensuring the legality of Satybaldy’s staying at the detention centre rather than conducting an objective and comprehensive investigation of the accusations against the Elbasy’s nephew.

Our insiders in the corridors of power confirm this idea. Moreover, they have informed us on a number of interesting details related to the Kayrat Satybaldy case.

So, according to our insiders -

- the conditions of Satybaldy’s confinement at the NSC pretrial detention centre are more than favourable;

- they do not bother him with interrogations and even provide him with an opportunity to carry out religious practices (in a separate room, at that);

- when communicating with the detainee, the investigators stress that, if he testifies and pleads guilty, a they may agree to a deal and his punishment may be reduced to paying a large fee.

We at KZ.expert believe this is a feasible scenario. And not only because giving 28.8% of Kazakhtelecom’s ordinary shares back to the state with a stroke of a pen is worth a lot. Consider, had Akorda tried to achieve the same result via its standard methods (namely, legal trials in Kazakhstan and beyond), it would have taken it at least two or three years and cost several dozen million dollars.

So, we may congratulate Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and his team on their great success. However, we still believe that this success became possible only due to the fact that Kayrat Satybaldy was offered up as a sacrifice by Nursultan Nazarbayev, his closest relative and protector.  

We have touched upon this resonant topic a number of times, for instance, in our publications “Why They Arrested Satybaldy"  and  “Nazarbayev’s Deal with Tokayev”.

In the former, we have suggested that “President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has suddenly dared to sanction what, up until this moment, seemed impossible in Kazakhstan, namely, an arrest of a Nazarbayev family member on a criminal charge” because he - 

a) either has grown so politically strong that he is feeling confident enough to encroach upon the sacred;

б) or has been forced to agree to Kayrat Satybaldyuly’s arrest since the accusation against the Elbasy’s nephew is of such a serious nature and is so proof positive that it could be dangerous for him and Akorda to start defending the former;

в) or has received such a weighty support of either the leading elite clans of the country or some very influential foreign political leader that it has made it possible for him to take a landmark step in the modern history of Kazakhstan and arrest Nazarbayev’s close relative (the one who has not been banished from the family)”. 

Back then we concluded that Kayrat Satybaldy’s arrest was likely Vladimir Putin’s way of punishing Nursultan Nazarbayev for his visit to Turkey upon Tayyip Erdogan’s invitation. Alas, it looks like this was not the case.

According to our insiders, when sanctioning the Elbasy’s nephew’s arrest, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev acted   on the approval of Nursultan Nazarbayev himself. It looks like the latter, as an experienced and über-cynical politician with an instinctual understanding of society, had realised that he and his clan cannot survive unless he sacrifices someone from his nearest circle.

So, after that, the arrests of Karim Masimov (as one of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s closest allies) and Kayrat Satybaldy (as the First President’s closest relative) have been sanctioned.

So, according to the insiders, the current developments are not so much an achievement on the part of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and a restoration of the rule of law in the country as Nursultan Nazarbayev’s attempt to divert the focus of the public attention away from himself via shifting it to other persons and making them a sacrificial lamb.

Of course, the further events may not go according to the Library’s plan.

Why do we think so? Because it is possible that the people Nursultan Nazarbayev has thrown under the bus (Karim Masimov, for instance) may decide to start talking. In other words, leak information through their friends and allies.

However, to be fair, we would like to point out that, in the case of Kayrat Satybaldy, it is practically impossible. Our insiders say that, as part of the unofficial deal with Akorda, the latter has agreed to plead guilty and compensate the damage to the state in exchange for the authorities’ consent not to prosecute his younger brother Samat Abish.

You will recall that, after his dismissal from the post of the NSC first deputy chief, Samat Abish has slipped into obscurity.

At the same time, our insiders in the corridors of power say that Kayrat Satybaldy will have to part with practically all of his assets including the foreign bank accounts and the properties owned by the offshore-registered companies. According to them, Akorda’s representatives have reached and agreement with one of Kayrat Satybaldy’s most trusted and loyal aides named Rashid who, up until recently, has resided in the UK. Allegedly, he has already returned to his homeland and started telling what he knows.

Of course, this particular information cannot become a part of the criminal investigation since it is no longer about the Kazakhtelecom shares of which everyone in the country knew but about the funds and  the assets unknown to the general public. And these assets can change their ownership very easily. Therefore, we do allow for the possibility that a part of Nazarbayev’s eldest nephew’s fortune will come to some of Tokayev’s allies and then will be used to fund the next parliamentary elections.

Ironically, if this happens, the assets stolen by the close relative of the former “leader of the nation” will be spent on solidifying the internal political position of the new leader of “progressive Kazakhstan”. The end.


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