Kazakh court arrests two Ukrspecexport employees for 10 days for investigatory proceedings, says Foreign Ministry
The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine has confirmed earlier reports that two employees of Ukraine's state-owned arms exporter Ukrspecexport had been detained in Kazakhstan, and said that the officials were arrested for 10 days.
"On January 28, 2013, a hearing took place at a district court in Astana, during which it was decided to prolong the detainees' arrest to 10 days for additional investigatory proceedings," Acting Director of the ministry's Information Policy Department Yevhen Perebyinis told an Interfax-Ukraine reporter.
According to the ministry, no official charges have been brought against the two Ukrainians as of yet.
The Foreign Ministry says that the police detained two employees of Ukrspecexport in Astana on January 26, 2013.
"Ukraine's Embassy in Kazakhstan is taking measures to organize consular assistance in the case. The state of health of the detained Ukrainians is satisfactory. They did not complain about the conditions in which they are kept and they have lawyers," Perebyinis said.
According to the ministry, the Consular Service Department and Ukraine's Embassy in Kazakhstan is monitoring the case.
Earlier, ZN.UA, referring to Kazakh media, reported the detention at an airport in Kazakhstan of two senior employees from Ukrspecexport on suspicion of giving a large bribe to a Kazakh government representative for assistance in the implementation of export contracts.
According to the online newspaper, Kazakh television, citing a senior source in the country's law enforcement agencies, issued a statement on the detention of the chief of the main department of arms at the Defense Ministry of Kazakhstan, Almaz Asenov, on suspicion of receiving a large bribe. Other Kazakh media reported that Arsenov was arrested while receiving a bribe of $200,000.
So far it has not been reported whether these two cases are linked.