Former First Deputy Head of the National Security Committee of Kazakhstan (KNB) Samat Abish testified in the case of protests in the country in January this year. This was announced by the acting deputy chairman of the National Security Committee Askar Amerkhanov, ORDA reports. Abish's boss, Karim Massimov, was detained on charges of treason.
“Samat Abish is also under investigation. He testifies, I don't know his status. He is in Kazakhstan. I didn't see him myself. I think that the investigation is underway, it must be, — said Amerkhanov.
Samat Abish is the nephew of former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. In mid-January, it was reported that he continued to work as deputy chairman of the KNB, but was temporarily sent on vacation. He was later relieved of his post.
Earlier, the current president of the country, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, dismissed the head of the KNB, Karim Massimov. Later Massimov was detained on suspicion of treason. Massimov — former prime minister of Kazakhstan, he led the government from 2007 to 2012 and from 2014 to 2016. Between the two terms, he served as head of the presidential administration.
Tokayev called what was happening a “terrorist war”; and accused the KNB that the department “failed to see the critical threat” for Kazakhstan.
On January 2, mass protests began in Kazakhstan, which broke out in the west of the country, and then spread to other cities. The reason for the protests was the rise in gas prices. The demands of the protesters soon became political. Among other things, they demanded the resignation of Nazarbayev from the post of head of the Security Council.
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In early June, a referendum was held in Kazakhstan on changes to the Constitution. Among other things, the mention of the former president was removed from there, Nursultan Nazarbayev was deprived of privileges and the status of elbasy (head of the nation), and the death penalty was abolished in a new edition.