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25.05.2021 / kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: over 2,000 citizens have been illegally detained over the past 6 years

Kazakhstan: over 2,000 citizens have been illegally detained over the past 6 years

The pre-trial investigation authorities don’t pay due attention to the issues of proving the guilt of the suspect before bringing him/her to justice. As a result of this negligence, more than two thousand citizens have been illegally detained over the past six years. Such a verdict is contained in the Concept to the draft “On amendments and additions to certain legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan concerning the implementation of a three-tier model with delineation of powers and areas of responsibility between law enforcement agencies, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Court”, which was presented by the General Prosecutor’s Office of the republic.

 The Concept to the draft law was submitted for public discussion on the portal “Open normative legal acts”. Citizens of the country can submit their amendments and proposals to the Concept by June 4.

 “Despite the significant progress, which was achieved in reforming the criminal process in Kazakhstan, the issues of protecting the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens, the quality of the implementation of criminal prosecution and the administration of justice by the court continue to be topical. This requires the development of optimal legal mechanisms providing for the effective application of criminal procedural legislation in order to quickly disclose crimes, bring to criminal responsibility the persons, who committed them, and a fair trial,” says the substantive part of the Concept.

It also notes that from 2015 to 2021, the facts of violation of the constitutional rights of citizens almost tripled – from 209 to 598.

“As before, departmental indicators (detection, referral to court) prevail over the observance of human rights: complaints against the investigating authorities have increased by 2.5 times (from 2702 in 2015 to 6799 in 2020). Prosecutors canceled more than 100,000 [129,635] decisions to interrupt the investigation period and terminate cases. Almost 7,000 [6,792] cases were returned for additional investigation, more than 3,000 [3,497] cases were returned by the courts. The number of complaints, which were satisfied by prosecutors, increased by 46% (10,905 in 2015; 15,911 in 2020), and three times by courts (383 in 2015; 1,076 in 2020),” was noted in the document.

According to the drafters of the Concept, this situation is developing, first of all, due to the lack of clear criteria for the delineation of powers and areas of responsibility between the bodies of pre-trial investigation, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Court.

“When a criminal case is received by the prosecutor, a system of accusatory facts has already been built. This situation can be eliminated if a new model of criminal prosecution and administration of justice is created, based on the best practices of the developed countries of the world. Today, the experience of the leading OECD countries shows us what the classic model of interaction between pre-trial investigation bodies, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Court should be,” the Prosecutor General’s Office supposes.

The supervisory authority also reminds that by 2025 Kazakhstan should pass to a new model of criminal procedure based on the international standards of the OECD countries: policeman – prosecutor – court.

“Three key tasks of the criminal process will have to be performed by different bodies: 1) detection, suppression of a criminal offense, identification of the involved persons, collection and consolidation of evidence – by the pre-trial investigation bodies; 2) giving an independent legal assessment of the collected evidence, making key procedural decisions, presenting and maintaining charges in court – by the Prosecutor’s Office; 3) the imposition of punishment, authorization of investigative actions and consideration of complaints against the actions and decisions of the pre-trial investigation bodies and the Prosecutor’s Office – by the Court,” the Prosecutor General’s Office notes.

Within the framework of the new model of criminal procedure, prosecutors have already begun to assess procedural decisions at the early stages of an investigation. So, according to the Prosecutor General’s Office, since the beginning of this year, over a thousand people have been recognized as suspects illegally.

“It’s proposed to implement the model of the criminal process with the division of powers and areas of responsibility between the bodies of pre-trial investigation, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Court in three stages. Stage 1 – from 2022 on murder cases; stage 2 – from 2023 on cases of corruption crimes; stage 3 – from 2024 on other categories of cases, which were completed in the form of a preliminary investigation,” the authors of the Concept suggest.

Source:Analytical Center for Central Asia