Kyrgyzstan: Deputy Allegedly Caught Accepting US$ 100,000 Bribe

Kyrgyz parliamentary deputy Khadzhimurat Korkmazov has allegedly been caught red-handed accepting a US$ 100,000 bribe, according to the Kyrgyz National Security Committee

Khadzhimurat Korkmazov. Photo: Kyrgyz Parliament website.The Prosecutor General Wednesday opened a criminal case into Korkmazov on suspicion of corruption, extortion of a bribe and abuse of his official position.

Korkmazov was detained by the National Security Committee’s Anticorruption Service and the Prosecutor General's Office after allegedly accepting a US$ 100,000 bribe from the relatives of former deputy and ex-mayor of Bishkek, Nariman Tyuleev.

According to the Anticorruption Service, Korkmazov extorted US$ 200,000 from Tyuleev’s relatives for securing a favorable decision in an ongoing Supreme Court case alleging Tyuleev made illegal land deals when he was mayor of the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, between 2008 and 2010. It is not immediately clear where the additional US$ 100 000 came from.

In July 2013, Tyuleev was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment for corruption in another case which involved the purchase and transport of 200 buses from China. In May of this year, the Anticorruption Service opened the land deal case against Tyuleev.

In light of the revelations, the Supreme Court has postponed a ruling on Tyuleev’s case.        

The head of the presidential administration, Daniyar Narymbaev, has also become embroiled in the scandal. After Kyrgyz media reported he had been detained in relation to Korkmazov’s case, he denied his involvement at a press conference.

Corruption, media impartiality and a lack of judicial independence have hampered Kyrgyzstan’s transition to democracy following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2014 Kyrgyzstan was ranked 136 out of 175 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

The investigation into Korkmazov is ongoing.