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Kazakhstan citizen suspected of weapons deals for North Korea to sue Associated Press

23 мая 2013, 13:12
Photo courtesy of  janarmenian.ru
Photo courtesy of janarmenian.ru
Kazakhstan citizen suspected of illegally transporting weapons to North Korea will sue Associate Press (AP) news agency for publishing unconfirmed information about his implication in the weapons scandal, president of East Wing transport company Pavel Mogilevskiy told Tengrinews.kz. Earlier the company was headed by Aleksandr Zykov who is claimed by the media to be involved in the weapons transportation. He is currently working as the Commercial Director of East Wing company.

Aleksandr Zykov, as well as two Ukrainians and 9 North Korean citizens got on the UN black list as persons suspected of involvement in weapons deals with North Korea. This happened after Il-76 aircraft flying from North Korea was seized during refill in Bangkok in 2009. 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. But the pilots were allegedly unaware of the content of their cargo containers and had received no details about the transported cargo.

Zykov believes that he has been blacklisted by the UN after an independent investigation of AP journalist Simon Shuster. The reporter found out that the weapons-transporting aircraft used to be owned by East Wing and was sold to the Ukrainian airline a few months before the row. According to Zykov, the allegations published by Shuster had no proof and were fabricated.

According to Mogilevskiy, Zykov applied to a European law firm that has already filed a request to the UN asking to check into relevance of the accusations. After that Kazakhstan citizen is going to file a claim again AP, not against the journalist personally, as, he believes that the company should bear the liability.

“I know personally that the plane was sold around a year before 2009. The fact that the plane had been previously owned by Zykov does not mean that Zykov was transporting weapons. The aircraft was sold. Those who organized that particular transportation should be searched for,” Mogilevskiy said.

Earlier Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry said that the information on Kazakhstan citizen's alleged implication in deals in weapons for North Korea was unverified . Kazakhstan has always been and remains a supporter and rigorous follower of non-proliferation, the Ministry reminded.

Zykov said that he possessed documents to prove his innocence and was ready to submit them to court to exercise the right to protect his honor and reputation.

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