The Masimov Affair – Everyone deserves punishment?

On April 24, the sentence was announced to the ex-head of the NSC of the Republic of Kazakhstan Karim Masimov and his deputies. Karim Masimov was detained during the mass riots in Kazakhstan in January 2022. Masimov was found guilty of treason, forcible seizure of power and abuse of office.

Three former deputies of Masimov were involved in the same case: Anuar Sadykulov, Daulet Ergozhin and Marat Osipov. They were sentenced to 16, 15 and 3 years’ imprisonment. All of them has been stripped of their ranks of generals and state awards. More than 10 billion tenge (about 20 million euros) and 24 million US dollars (21.8 million euros) were recovered from them to the state revenue.

Don’t forget that Masimov was taken into custody at the beginning of last year against the backdrop of mass protests that swept Kazakhstan. He headed the NSC from September 2016 to January 2022. Prior to that, Masimov was the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, the head of the presidential administration and assistant to the president in different times.

In January 2022, rallies began in Zhanaozen in western Kazakhstan against a sharp increase in the price of liquefied natural gas, they quickly grew into mass protests across the country with economic and political demands. In some regions, on the night of January 5,  demonstrators began the pogroms and attacks against the administrative buildings, police stations, and shops. Almaty, the largest city in terms of population and the main donor of the republican budget, suffered more than others.

According to official figures, 225 people died during the riots, including 19 representatives of law enforcement agencies, and more than 4,500 people were injured. In Almaty, more than 2,700 people were detained in connection with protests and riots. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev immediately dismissed the government and declared a state of emergency in the country. On January 6, at his request, a military force arrived in Kazakhstan to help “in overcoming the terrorist threat.” In mid-January, units of the forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization left Kazakhstan after the peacekeeping operation.

Since the hearing was held behind closed doors, it is difficult to answer several questions in connection with the guilty sentense against the main ideologist of the January events.

So, what was the treason, remained unclear. Nevertheless, Masimov was convicted precisely under the relevant articles: the court found him guilty under Part 1 of Article 175 (“Treason”) and Part 3 of Article 179 (“Forcible Seizure of Power”) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Moreover, this was added to the charge under paragraph 3 of part 4 of Article 362 (“Exceeding power and official authority”).

It is also worth emphasizing that in the photographs from the courtroom, Mr. Masimov looks quite well, despite the assurances of his press service (but what a press service can the convicted person have?) and the attending doctors that allegedly the conditions of detention are unacceptable and Karim Masimoov can die at any moment. This suggests that the ex-head of the NSC of the Republic of Kazakhstan intends to serve his term to the end and be released at 76 years old.


Last January became the starting point of the new history of Kazakhstan. During the January events, the country plunged into chaos, which was controlled by certain forces. The main character involved in the criminal case and the instigator of the January events was the former chairman of the NSC, Karim Masimov, who was sentenced to 18 years with confiscation of property, and three of his deputies, who received 16, 15 and 3 years.

Right after the Masimov’s trial, a number of telegram channels, citing some verified sources, published information that during a search at the place of residence of Karim Masimov, a travel bag was found. There were diplomatic passports, cover documents for the ex-head of the NSC of the Republic of Kazakhstan and large sums of money. If this is true, the investigating authorities should make it public and show the passports of the states that issued them to Massimov. This will shed light on all circumstances of which Mr. Masimov acted.

In addition, information leaked that K. Massimov and A. Sadykulov organized training to evacuate ex-head of the NSC of the Republic of Kazakhstan from the country in case of failure of the criminal plan to forcibly seize power. For these purposes, the routes of movement and the circumstances of the use of forces and means of the SSN «A» NSC RK were worked out.

Finally, for these purposes, on January 5, 2022, the SU-95 NRK95100 official aircraft with a crew was secretly prepared for a flight abroad against the backdrop of a possible failure of an attempt.

Another deputy of Karim Massimov, Daulet Yergozhin, conducted closed socio-political research in order to seize power. It was confidential, the research results were deleted during the January events, and computers with the participation of NSC  officers were irretrievably destroyed.

For this purpose, the research group “NAC Analytica” was involved, whose services Massimov paid from personal funds.

The investigating authorities repeatedly noted that paramilitary groups were trained in the mountains under the personal control of Massimov. However, they did not comment on information about passports and research conducted by Massimov’s team.