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Kazakhstan citizen accused of selling weapons to North Korea pleads not guilty

16 мая 2013, 14:45
Photo by Marat Abilov©
Photo by Marat Abilov©
Former head of Kazakhstan private airline East Wing Aleksandr Zykov suspected by UN expert of implication in deals in weapons for North Korea claims his is not guilty, Interfax-Kazakhstan reports.

“I have documents to prove my non-involvement in this story and my innocence. I am repeating it once again: I have nothing to do with this scandal! In the end, I still have the right to protect my honor and reputation. If what you are saying is really happening, it is likely that I will have to apply to court,” Zykov said in an interview to Vremya newspaper today, May 16.

He said that he no longer worked in aviation. “After the Thai incident I left airline business. I have another business now. I will not hide that the incident in Bangkok made me switch to another business. That row grated my nerves a lot and put me off my stride a little, but everything is in the past now. At least I thought that it was in the past,” Zykov said.

In the middle of December 2009 Il-76 aircraft flying from North Korea was seized during a refill in Bangkok. The crew included three Kazakhstan citizens and one citizen of Belarus. 35 tons of weapons were discovered in the plane. According to Thai laws the pilots could face from 10 years in jail to the death penalty.

The aircraft was owned by Kazakhstan private airline East Wing until spring 2009. It was later bought by Baibarys company that later sold it to Georgian airline Air West Georgia. International air transportation rules contain sanctions against military cargoes to or from North Korea. However, according to the available information, in that case the pilots were not aware of the content of their cargo containers and had received no details about the transported cargo.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday the media published details of the report of UN experts on North Korea. The report also contains the recommendations for the UN Security Council to introduce sanctions against three North Korean organizations: Ministry of Nuclear Energy, Department of Military Industry of the Central Commission of Korean Labor Party and the State Space Bureau.

According to the experts, the sanctions should also cover 12 individuals, including Kazakhstan citizen Aleksandr Zykov and two Ukrainian citizens Iurii Lunov and Igor Karev-Popov. The document states that they are involved in deals in weapons related to North Korea.

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