CIA and Prosecution Falter on Kazakhgate

It’s hard to say what is more disgusting:  that President-for-life Nursultan Nazarbayev has taken hundreds of millions in bribes, that his New York bagman James Giffen doesn’t deny passing along $78 million of these bribes, or that the CIA and prosecutors are so inept that still haven’t been able to set a trial date in what has become the biggest Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case in history.  Steve LeVine has an update on Giffen’s legal strategy … which looks like it might just work.

Giffen’s letter – dated Sept. 8 and entered into the court file yesterday – was triggered by remarks made by Pauley in Giffen’s hearing on Sept. 5. In the hearing, assistant U.S. attorney Stephen Ritchen said he didn’t have the CIA documents, and the usually patient Pauley for the first time suggested that the government demonstrate that it is serious about trying the case. He said he might order intelligence officials to appear and explain themselves. According to the latest court docket, Pauley has scheduled a closed hearing Sept. 25, apparently with representatives of the intelligence agencies.

“At somepoint, the government has to decide whether it wants to go forward,”Pauley said Sept. 5, as reported in astory by Bloomberg reporter David Glovin, who has covered the casealmost from the beginning. “Oftentimes, there’s nothing more effectivethan having to look at a federal judge and explain why you haven’t donewhat you’re supposed to.”

Pauley said, “Five years — that initself is punishment and hardship” to Giffen. “I’m reaching the pointwhere I can’t let it go on for years.”