The Secrets of Mr. Maylybayev

It’s generally known that Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Baglan Maylybayev convicted for divulging state secrets was closely tied to representatives of a foreign country. However, little is known about the specifics of this collaboration. At the same time, this information would help to shed light on many events of the recent years.

After his conviction in June 2017 to five years of imprisonment for violating Part 4 of Article 361 and Part 3 of Article 185 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, former Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Baglan Maylybayev had disappeared from the public eye. Meanwhile, his resonant case is still worthy of attention since, first, it demonstrates Akorda’s ability to suppress the undesirable contacts between the Kazakhstan state officials (even of the highest ranks) and their Russian colleagues despite the Kremlin’s negative reaction and, second, confirms the fact that, in Kazakhstan, the costs of quarreling with those is power are all too high.

To confirm this thesis, we will cite our insiders’ data.

As we have learned, Maylybayev’s arrest was non-typical. (We will recall that Baglan Maylybayev and his subordinate Nikolay Galikhin who was in charge of a sector of the Presidential Administration were arrested by the National Security Committee on January 12, 2017, on suspicion of divulging state secrets (Parts 1 and 3 of Article 185 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan).

This is how it went down. Chief of the NSC Karim Masimov had personally called Head of the Presidential Administration Adilbek Dzhaksybekov requesting the access to the premises by a highly-ranked NSC officer and the possibility to contact the then Deputy Head of the Administration. As a result, the officer had freely entered Akorda and Maylybayev’s office and (presumably) showed him the warrant for his arrest. Then, the officer came out of the room together with Maylybayev and left the premises via Maylybayev’s corporate “Mercedes”. At the parking lot outside the gate, they were met by an operative car which Maylybayev entered as a detainee.

Judging by the fact that Baglan Maylybayev admitted his guilt and the search of his house presented the overwhelming evidence of his culpability, he had certainly not anticipated such turn of events and not even allowed for the possibility that all his papers and notes would end up in the hands of his political opponents and ill-wishers. In the meantime, it looks like it is their contents that have mainly caused Maylybayev’s downfall. In his correspondence with the handlers from Moscow, he manages to say something negative about practically all the people in Akorda including Adilbek Dzhaksybekov and his predecessors, Speaker of the Lower House of the Kazakhstan Parliament Nurlan Nigmatullin, and Chief of the NSC Karim Masimov, and without mincing his words, too.

According to our insiders, the volume of the proof of Maylybayev’s guilt was so big that it required several station wagons to transport the documents and the other information-carrying mediums. And even though the criminal case against Baglan Maylybayev’s had been deemed classified and the trial held behind closed doors, there was a leak. As it turned out, Maylybayev, in his notes, shared the information that was sensitive for Akorda, complained about the people from the opposing clans, characterized them in a hard-hitting manner and asked for assistance in their neutralization.

The latter should be of Akorda’s special concern since the Russian media and internet-resources do not lavish Kazakhstan and its domestic political developments with too much attention. Therefore, when they do pay close attention to the country and make their unduly familiar comments, it usually is a result of a commission. As it turns out, Maylybayev has often been the one performing the role of the commissioner.

For example, he had characterized Head of Nazarbayev’s Chancellery Makhmud Kasymbekov as a man with an unlimited access to all the documents that end up on Nursultan Nazarbayev’s table or are written by him and suggested that Kasymbekov should be exchanged for another, more flexible person. Note that, to carry out this operation, he had recommended to defame Makhmud Kasymbekov’s son Zhenis. Interestingly, it is during that period that the informational attacks against the young minister in relation to his different lines of work (from aviation to road building) had happened. If we are to follow the chain of the damaging information releases, we will find that it, curiously enough, leads to RIA Novosti Kazakhstan’s website newskaz.ru. Perhaps this is just a coincidence, but something tells us it might not be.

However, it looks like the key role in Baglan Maylybayev’s downfall had been played by his comments on Karim Masimov especially on the period when he served as Head of the Presidential Administration and on his allies such as former Minister of National Economy Kuandyk Bishimbayev.

We all know what had happened to the latter. And, it is worth mentioning that, once again, it was RIA Novosti that was all too enthusiastic in covering the news on the investigation against Kuandyk Bishimbayev. As for Karim Masimov, Maylybayev did not hide his disappointment in the fact that Masimov was appointed Head of the Presidential Administration. He had hoped to get the position himself and perhaps didn’t mince any words when writing about his new boss.

Minister of Culture and Sports Arystanbek Mukhamediula was among other persons whom Maylybayev had honored with his antipathy. Mukhamediula was a serious obstacle on Maylybayev’s path to solve the tasks he was assigned, so the latter asked his Russian contacts to speed up the process of taking the measures against the Minister to neutralize him.

In a curious way, it coincides with the scandal around the Kyrgyz workers in Moscow, again, fueled primarily by the RIA Novosti folks. Note that the same Russian media had taken participation (willingly or not?) in the informational war of “Zhamankulov against Mukhamediula” in which the once popular actor had played his now probably final and not very glamorous role having served as a useful idiot in somebody’s hands. 

Among other things, the documents found in Baglan Maylybayev’s house show that his ambition was no less than to become the State Secretary of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Note that, the Constitutional Service Grade registers this position under number 5. In other words, in the case of the acting President’s early resignation, the State Secretary becomes the fifth in the line of the possible legitimate successors to the throne. It looks like Baglan Maylybayev had hoped that, at the right moment and with the help of his Russian contacts, he would be able to jump higher than his position of “the person in charge of the domestic policies of Kazakhstan”.

Either way, these and other plans of the former Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration never materialized while his papers and correspondence ended up in the hands of the Kazakhstan secret service and served as the foundation for his conviction to five years of imprisonment with the life-long ban to serve as a state official.

What is curious, however, is that the Russian media and their Kazakhstan “offsprings” so actively supported by Maylybayev still continue to operate only one kilometer away from Akorda. It is possible they will be used as the channels of influence during the transit. The same goes for the so called “experts” that had occupied the Kazakhstan expert field during Maylybayev ‘s time.

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