In the southern capital the press conference of the lawyers of Arman Dzhumageldiev, who has been in the detention center of the National Security Committee on charges of organizing mass riots in Almaty in January 2022 for more than a year, was disrupted.
At 13:00 on Monday, 13.02 at the Kazzhol Park Hotel a press conference was scheduled for the lawyers of Arman Dzhumageldiev, known by his nickname “Wild Arman”. For more than a year he has been held in the pretrial detention facility of the Almaty City Department of the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan. This detention facility is a former NKVD-MGB-KGB internal prison of the Kazakh SSR, and the modern Kazzhol Park Hotel is located in one of the former KGB-KNB buildings and is literally wall-to-wall adjacent to the current KNB pre-detention facility.
It is possible that the speakers of this press conference chose this hotel as a place for it and probably were going to say so. But they did not, because the announced event did not take place for a very funny reason: the light in the hotel building (it would be interesting to know – in the SIZO, too?) was cut off. The lawyers Daulet Baiseitov, Oleg Chernov and Yevgeny Yavorsky, who came to the “press conference”, told journalists about their intention to present new information about the case of their client. It seems that someone in power and/or law enforcement agencies did not want this to happen.
– Today we marked this place for the meeting with journalists, which we had been preparing all last week. We paid for the rent in advance, but just before it started we found this kind of attitude: the electricity was cut and the room was locked. We asked what the problem was and no one answered,” lawyer Oleg Chernov told journalists. According to him, since the start of Arman Dzhumageldiev’s defense, such seemingly “random events” have constantly occurred.
The lawyers promised to tell journalists about the place and time of the new press conference separately.
Their client Arman Dzhumageldiev, with a reputation of criminal authority, was arrested after the January events, in which he played a more than controversial role. According to many testimonies, Wild Arman and people under his control seized individuals from the crowd of protesters on the Republic Square, took them to the hotel “Kazakhstan”, in the lobby of which they had their headquarters, and severely beat them. Arman’s own explanations, contrary in meaning and pathos, according to which his men were catching looters who were looting stores, bringing them to their senses and handing them over to the police, are also known.
On the other hand, there was a discussion in the society: if Wild Arman and his people were not related to demonstrators or law-enforcement bodies but were a part of criminality itself, then wouldn’t they robbed banks and stores in those days, especially arms shops, and could they do it either for purely selfish reasons or by conspiracy with the plotters from the family of the former president, if such plot really existed. Or with the former head of the National Security Committee of Kazakhstan Karim Masimov, who has also been in the National Security Committee pretrial detention facility for almost a year, only not in Almaty, but in Astana, where the trial on his case is going on now, but nothing specific about this court is known to the public – everything is tightly secured.
As to the attempt of Wild Arman’s lawyers to shed light on the course of investigation or forthcoming trial on his case, such attempt was stopped by an old as the world and very popular in “Old Kazakhstan” way – switching off the light in the room rented for the meeting with the press.
Let’s hope that the lawyers will still manage to find a room for a press conference “with light” and we will find out more details about Arman Dzhumageldiev’s case.