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Helicopters for Uganda. Who initiated "bargain of the century"

A scandal around Kyrgyz helicopters, which Kyrgyzkural state enterprise allegedly intended to send to Somalia, was started by Kanybek Imanaliev, a deputy of the Parliament from Ata Meken faction.

Immediately after he voiced the issue, the corresponding order by the ex-president of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev appeared on the Internet. It approves the proposal of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic to send four helicopters for participation in the Mission of the African Union in Somalia (AMISOM).

It is known that in accordance with the signed contract, the money for the lease of the aircrafts in case of successful deal would have been transferred to a bank account, opened in the United Arab Emirates.

24.kg news agency decided to find out who actually initiated the lease of the helicopters provided to Kyrgyzstan by Russia in form of an assistance.

Minister who did not know anything

According to the former defense minister Abibilla Kudaiberdiev, the issue of lease of the Kyrgyz helicopters was raised in early 2014. Then the state enterprise Kyrgyzkural offered to lease helicopters for two years to Somalia.

«Other helicopters could be repaired at the expense of the proceeds from the lease, and the infrastructure of the Armed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic could be developed. The initiative belonged to the leadership of the General Staff and the state enterprise Kyrgyzkural,» Abibilla Kudaiberdiev told 24.kg news agency.

For two years, the state could earn about $ 30 million from lease of four helicopters.

The ex-head of the defense ministry suggested that the chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and the president of the country might not know that this contract could cause an international scandal.

«After the president signed an order approving the proposal, Kyrgyzkural independently began to prepare documents. The contract between the Ministry of Defense of Uganda and the general director of Kyrgyzkural Bekbolot Kozhogulov was signed in December 2014,» told Abibilla Kudaiberdiev.

However, according to him, Bekbolot Kozhogulov had no right to sign the documents. Such contracts are signed at the level of the leaders of the Ministry of Defense.

I was not informed about the contract being prepared. I learned about this only in July 2015, when a draft resolution of the Kyrgyz government was brought to me for signature.

Abibilla Kudaiberdiev

As Abibilla Kudaiberdiev explained, he sent official letters to the State Committee for National Security, the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Deputy Prime Minister for Security Abdyrakhman Mamataliev and asked for a legal assessment of the contract, signed by the head of Kyrgyzkural state enterprise.

«I did not get an answer from SCNS. The Prosecutor General’s Office sent the documents to the Military Prosecutor’s Office for verification and legal assessment. As a result, I received a submission from the Military Prosecutor’s Office, which stated that the contract was drawn up with gross violations and abuse of authority by the officials. Based on this submission, I gave instructions to terminate the contract,» said Abibilla Kudaiberdiev.

Who stopped the illegal deal?

The ex-minister of defense told that in 2015 the government created an interdepartmental commission. Its conclusion says that the contract on the lease of the helicopters has been concluded with gross violations.

«The document signed by the Prime Minister Temir Sariev was sent to the President of the country. This issue was discussed several times during the service meeting, which took place on the initiative of the leadership of the Defense Council of the Kyrgyz Republic, then at the General Staff of the Armed Forces, as well as under the leadership of the deputy head of the Presidential Administration, Sapar Isakov. Checks had been conducted, but none of the experts of the Defense Ministry was prosecuted, although all helicopters were considered to be subordinate to this ministry,» Abibilla Kudaiberdiev said.

I wrote a letter to Sapar Isakov that there were violations in signing of the contract. The chief of the General Staff sent him an answer, in which he explained the benefits of the rent of the helicopters. Sapar Isakov ordered to bring everything in line

Abibilla Kudaiberdiev

Unfair dismissal

The ex-defense minister believes that his resignation is directly related to the fact that he did not approve the contract with the Uganda Ministry of Defense.

«On October 4, elections to the Parliament took place. On October 15, the government resigned, but on October 12, I was released from office and a criminal case was opened. If they just wanted to remove me, then it could be done when all members of the government retired,» Abibilla Kudaiberdiev stressed.

They wanted to rent two helicopters, received free of charge from Russia, and two US helicopters.

In the contract dated December 3, 2014 between the Ministry of Defense of Uganda and the state enterprise Kyrgyzkural, the parties confirm that the aircrafts are the property of the lessor (the Ministry of Defense of the Kyrgyz Republic) and under no circumstances can be declared the property of the lessee (Uganda), used for compensation or taken as a pledge.

All payments by the lessee should have been transferred to the account of the bank of the United Arab Emirates Sky Tech Trading Service FZE Fujairah.

During the use of the aircrafts, the lessor must organize and conduct at his own expense all types of maintenance.

What do the documents say?

In addition, according to the contract, the lessor, that is Kyrgyzstan, had to insure the aircrafts at its own expense instead of the lessee, although in the world practice the insurance is fully taken over by a lessee.

The state has to pay for training and fuel.

The submission by the military prosecutor Nurlan Dyushembiev pointed out that the contract between Kyrgyzkural state enterprise and the Ministry of Defense of Uganda was drawn up in violation of the legislative norms of the Kyrgyz Republic.

In particular, it notes: On December 3, 2014, on behalf of the government, Kyrgyzkural state enterprise signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense of Uganda, according to which two helicopters Mi-8 and two Mi-24 helicopters are to be handed over to the latter for a period of two years. The contract for the transfer of the aircrafts was concluded without a government decision on the transfer of the aircrafts to rent and the government’s decision to delegate the authority to sign the contract.

The contract for the transfer of the aircrafts for lease was drawn up by Kyrgyzkural in violation of the current legislation, with excess of the powers provided for in the constituent documents.

The military prosecutor asked to invalidate the contract.

In his turn, ex-chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Asanbek Alymkozhoev told 24.kg news agency that the deputy Marat Kenzhisariev offered him to lease helicopters to Uganda.

«In 2014, Marat Kenzhisariev reported on the possibility of concluding a profitable contract with the Ministry of Defense of Uganda. The point was that if we lease four helicopters, we would get a large sum for this, namely several tens of millions of dollars. I was presented this in such a way that this money can be invested in the further development of the aviation fleet. I reported this to the president,» Asanbek Alymkozhoev commented.

Ex-Deputy Chief of General Staff Marat Kenzhisarev is not yet available for comment.

Despite Abibilla Kudaiberdiev’s letters that the contract with the Defense Ministry of Uganda was drawn up with violations, in his answer Sapar Isakov, as deputy head of the Presidential Administration, pointed out that «the initiative meets the national interests of the Kyrgyz Republic». However, the official did not explain what kind of interests it were.