- Published: October 2, 2017
On 15 September 2017, a round table discussion on the reform of the code of criminal procedure in the Republic of Kazakhstan was held in Almaty.
The event began with a presentation of the most important new developments, most of which involve changes to investigation proceedings, by Deputy Prosecutor General, Marat Akhmetzhanov. Undercover investigations, for example, must in future be ordered by a court. The period of provisional arrest will be reduced to 48 hours for adults and 24 hours for minors. Advances will be made on a step-by-step basis to increase the skills of investigative magistrates (e.g. for closing proceedings). An accelerated procedure for dealing with criminal offences will be introduced.
There were some words of criticism from the Chairman of the Republican Collegium of Lawyers, Anuar Tugel, who demanded, amongst other things, the early involvement of defence lawyers in the investigation process.
High-ranking representatives of the following judicial and government institutions took part in the meeting:
- President’s office of the Republic of Kazakhstan,
- Supreme Court,
- Constitutional Council,
- Public Prosecutor General's Office and
- Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The Collegium of Lawyers, the OSCE, NGOs and the Al-Farabi University were also represented.
The IRZ was represented by the speakers Reinhard Müller, Deputy Director of the local court of Rendsburg, and Prof. Dr. Bijan Nowrousian from the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration and Management of North Rhine-Westphalia. They gave lectures on the activities of investigative magistrates in Germany and on ensuring a fair trial and the rights of the defendant in Germany.
It should be noted that the changes in the code of criminal procedure in the Republic of Kazakhstan allow for enhanced rights for the accused, but that the role of the defence counsel in the investigative proceedings needs to be strengthened still further.