There is Honor among Thieves. How Kyrgyz Officials Are Avoiding Criminal Liability
Organisation: Kloop Media
Organisation size: Big
Publication date: 13/11/2021
Credit: Saadat Tologonova, Ekaterina Reznikova
Saadat Tologonova has been a correspondent for the data department of Kloop Media since 2020. Since 2017, the coordinator of the Osh office of Kloop. Ekaterina Reznikova is an investigator, programmer, editor of the Kloop Media data department.
To find out how high-ranking officials are held accountable, Kloop gathered press releases from the State Committee for National Security (ГКНБ), Ministry of the Interior (МВД), and Kyrgyzstan’s Prosecutor General from 2015-2020 and learned that over six years criminal cases had been opened against at least 98 of these officials. More than half of them are free from custody, but only seven have actually been acquitted. Every sixth official that was mentioned in the law enforcement agencies’ press releases left Kyrgyzstan after criminal charges were brought against them. Half of them are still missing and wanted.
I assume that this material has had an impact on society. And that it somehow affected the voting in the elections. And that they will demand fair punishment for such officials.
We manually collected information from law enforcement press releases into a Google spreadsheet and analyzed it in the same spreadsheet. Scraped the database of judicial acts. They also collected data from news publications and sent inquiries to law enforcement and judicial authorities.
What was the hardest part of this project?
It was difficult to collect data about criminal cases and decisions of judges in criminal cases. Law enforcement and judicial authorities did not respond to inquiries about the criminal records of most officials. In the database of judicial acts, which is an open source, the judicial authorities almost did not publish the court verdicts of high-ranking officials whom we were looking for.
What can others learn from this project?
Other journalists can use this database, the information that we have published. And to make new deeper material about each case.