Deputy Defense Minister arrested on Israeli Weapons Charges
Deputy Defense Minister of Kazakhstan Kazhimurat Maermanov has been arrested on charges of abuse of authority and corruption, after Kazakhstan's security service accused the defense ministry of buying defective military hardware from Israel on Monday, in a rare public spat exposing long-running tensions among the security elite.
At a briefing yesterday in Astana, the National Security Committee (KNB) of Kazakhstan explained that Maermanov had engaged in a number of contracts with Israeli firms worth 190 million dollars to supply Kazakhstan with three advanced artillery systems.
However, it later turned out the Israelis supplied “an experimental weapon, and under contract, they should have guaranteed the weapons to be in good condition,” said the KNB spokesman Kenzhebulat Beknazarov. However, the weapons ceased to function after a few startups.
According to an estimate from the Counting Committee, the malfunctioning weapons have cost Kazakhstan the equivalent of 82 million dollars, “he added, according to Reuters and Islamic News - Cnobbi.com.
The KNB, the successor agency to the Soviet-era KGB, said it was investigating a number of unnamed defense ministry officials on suspicion of purchasing faulty artillery and other defense systems from Israeli firms.
"These systems were not been completed properly, they are still in the phase of research and development," KNB spokesman told a briefing, Reuters reports.