Saturday, May 06, 2006


This is a really weird scandal, even by Turkmenistan standards:
"On April 10 the president’s enforcer left her post, ostensibly stepping down voluntarily to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.

"But that story changed on April 24, when the president turned up at the prosecution service to announce the findings of an investigation into Atajanova’s alleged misdeeds. As a sideline to prosecuting high-profile figures, she apparently appropriated their assets, acquiring dozens of houses, shops and cafes across the country, over 20 cars, thousands of sheep and, for reasons still unexplained, 30,500 buckets.

"'I am astonished at your greed,' Niazov said to Atajanova, in remarks shown on Turkmen TV. 'You took 30,500 buckets – why?'

"Turning to investigators working on the case, he said, 'Have you found out why she took them? What did she need 30,000 buckets for? Did she use them for something or not?'"


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