20 Years of Anti-Corruption Legislation and the Agency for Civil Service in the Republic of Kazakhstan

Participants in the Round Table on “20 Years of Anti-Corruption Legislation and the Agency for Civil Service in the Republic of Kazakhstan”
Participants in the Round Table on “20 Years of Anti-Corruption Legislation and the Agency for Civil Service in the Republic of Kazakhstan”
Kazakhstan

On 23 May 2018, the IRZ together with the Agency for Civil Service and Anti-Corruption in the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kazakh Embassy organised a Round Table in Berlin on “20 Years of Anti-Corruption Legislation and the Agency for Civil Service in the Republic of Kazakhstan”.

The event was opened and moderated by the Ambassador for the Republic of Kazakhstan in Germany, Bolat Nussupov. To begin with, the President of the Agency, Alik Shpekbayev, presented the anti-corruption policy in the Republic of Kazakhstan and explained the key measures in place to fight corruption:

  • anti-corruption monitoring
  • analysis of corruption risks and
  • promotion of an anti-corruption culture.

These measures are also set out in the National Plan “100 steps towards achieving the five reforms”. The new anti-corruption legislation, which came into force in 2016, governs the legal status of the fight against corruption, with the objective of implementing the anti-corruption policy in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The Agency for Civil Service and Anti-Corruption plays an important role here. It is responsible for implementing the government policy in the public service sector and for the evaluation and monitoring of the quality of public services and in the fight against corruption. All in all, the development of an anti-corruption culture and the associated measures for fighting corruption play an important social and economic role in Kazakhstan.

German experts also took part in the event and reported on the situation in this field in Germany:

  • Dr. Frank Böhme (German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Department II A 4) gave an overview of the legal framework for the repression of corruption.
  • Dr. Rüdiger Reiff (Senior Public Prosecutor at the Central Unit for Fighting Corruption at the Office of the Public Prosecutor General in Berlin) gave a lecture on criminal investigations and prevention in the area of fighting corruption.
  • Jürgen Maurer (former Vice-President of the German Federal Criminal Office) discussed in his presentation on “The corruption situation, legal framework for fighting corruption and prevention concepts” the guidelines for supervisors and the code of practice against corruption, amongst other things.
  • Prof. Dr. Bijan Nowrousian (Professor of criminal law and the law on administrative offences at the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration and Management of North Rhine-Westphalia) presented details of the main offences in practice, namely the corruption offences of public officials.
  • Miriam Kosmehl (Bertelsmann Foundation, Senior Expert, Future of Europe programme) spoke about “The civil society and the fight against corruption” and shed light on the projects of the Bertelsmann Foundation relating to the fight against corruption. These include the “Bertelsmann Foundation’s Transformation Index (BTI)”, the “Strategies for a peaceful neighbourhood in the EU” and targeted studies such as “Open Government – a new experience of democracy.”

The other speakers at the event were Svetlana Savitskaya, Transparency International coordinator in the CIS states and Central Asia, and Virginie Coulloudon, Managing Director of the NGO “Your Public Value”.

The many different contributions reflected the various aspects of the fight against corruption in Germany and Kazakhstan. To conclude, the Round Table was a successful and profitable event for the German-Kazakh exchange of experiences in the field of the fight against corruption.

Seminar on cryptocurrencies in Astana

Gulnara Fakhrudinova, IRZ; Cai Rüffer, Public Prosecutor General's Office Frankfurt; Karin Schreitter-Skvortsov, Public Prosecutor’s Office Dresden; Peter Jentsch, State Office of Criminal Investigation in Saxony (from left to right)
Gulnara Fakhrudinova, IRZ; Cai Rüffer, Public Prosecutor General's Office Frankfurt; Karin Schreitter-Skvortsov, Public Prosecutor’s Office Dresden; Peter Jentsch, State Office of Criminal Investigation in Saxony (from left to right)

In partnership with the Law Academy for further education at the Public Prosecutor General's Office in the Republic of Kazakhstan, the IRZ organised a seminar on “The legalisation of criminal proceeds from electronic money and virtual currencies”, held on 26 and 27 March 2018.

The event was attended by representatives of state law enforcement agencies and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as representatives from the blockchain and cryptocurrency association of Kazakhstan. The IRZ, supported by an institutional grant from the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, was represented by three German experts in the field. The German Embassy in Astana was represented by the liaison officer for the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), Bärbel Engerer.

The main focus of the first day of the event was on “The application of blockchain technology”. The seminar was opened with a presentation of various virtual currencies and money transfer systems. The legal regulations for cryptocurrency markets and the risks and security loopholes were also covered. Peter Jentsch, a member of the 31/1 (Internet Investigations) department at the State Office of Criminal Investigation in Saxony, presented the basics of blockchain technology and the use of mixing services. Cai Rüffer, a public prosecutor at the German Centre for Combating Cyber Crime (GenStA Frankfurt), gave a lecture on the use of blockchains during investigations in dark net cases and on the cooperation between law enforcement agencies and companies offering bitcoin transactions.

The second day of the event was devoted to the topic “The investigation of offences in connection with the money laundering of criminal proceeds”. German experiences in the repayment of stolen assets and the legalisation of criminal proceeds were outlined by Karin Schreitter-Skvortsov, a manager and public prosecutor at the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Dresden. During her second lecture, she talked about the problems involved in investigating money laundering in connection with virtual currencies. Cai Rüffer presented some examples of investigations into the illegal use of virtual currencies.

The expert lectures were met with great interest by participants. This was reflected in the many questions and extensive discussions. A follow-up event has been requested by the Kazakh partners. This will look into the available options for investigating criminal offences, which have been committed using cryptocurrencies.

7th international conference on criminal proceedings in Ak Bulak near Almaty

Petra Bertelsmeier, a former Senior Public Prosecutor at the Public Prosecutor General's Office in Frankfurt; Helene Philippsen, IRZ Project Manager; Ingrid Haussmann, a judge at the Higher Regional Court of Munich (from left to right)
Petra Bertelsmeier, a former Senior Public Prosecutor at the Public Prosecutor General's Office in Frankfurt; Helene Philippsen, IRZ Project Manager; Ingrid Haussmann, a judge at the Higher Regional Court of Munich (from left to right)

The IRZ has been involved in the annual International Conference on Criminal Proceedings in Ak Bulak near Almaty since 2013. The theme of this year's conference is "Implementing constitutional standards to guarantee efficient criminal proceedings". The conference took place on 1 and 2 March 2018 in cooperation between the IRZ and the Constitutional Council, the Public Prosecutor General's Office and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The main focus was on

  • improving judicial monitoring in pre-trial procedures,
  • modernising case law and
  • the new role of public prosecutors in the criminal procedure of the Republic of Kazakhstan against the background of the constitutional reform that has taken place.

The IRZ, supported by an institutional grant from the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, was represented by lectures from two German experts. Petra Bertelsmeier, a former Senior Public Prosecutor at the Public Prosecutor General's Office in Frankfurt, gave a lecture on the duties of the public prosecutor's office in criminal investigations and on the role of the public prosecutor in criminal proceedings. Ingrid Haussmann, a judge at the Higher Regional Court of Munich, informed the audience about the powers of the court of law in pre-trial procedures. In an additional contribution, she presented the accelerated procedure in Germany.

High-ranking Kazakh representatives from the following institutions took part in the conference:

  • President's office,
  • Constitutional Council,
  • Public Prosecutor General's Office,
  • Supreme Court,
  • Parliament,
  • Ministries of Justice, Internal Affairs and Finance,
  • Collegium of Lawyers and
  • Universities.

Also in attendance were the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kazakhstan, Rolf Mafael, and the Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Astana, György Szabo.

The participants showed a great deal of interest in the German legal system. The role of public prosecutors in the investigation process was discussed particularly intensively.

To conclude, following further reforms of the code of criminal procedure for the Republic of Kazakhstan, the decision-making process for optimising and applying the new legal standards shall be continued.