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Kazakhstan intelligence chief who was Hunter Biden’s ‘close friend’ and posed with him and Joe is charged with treason during protests that have seen 160 killed and 8,000 arrested

  • Karim Massimov ran Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee until he was fired by the country’s embattled president late last week
  • He and other unnamed intelligence officials were arrested the day after firing
  • Hunter Biden once called Massimov a ‘good friend’ in an email from 2016 
  • An undated photo appears to show Joe and Hunter Biden smiling alongside Kazak businessman Kenes Rakishev as well as Massimov 
  • It was originally published by an anti-corruption group called the Kazakhstani Initiative on Asset Recovery and has not been independently verified 
  • Reports claim that Hunter traveled all the way from Paris to Kazakhstan without his Secret Service detail in 2014 to discuss a Burisma deal with Massimov 
  • The photo resurfaced in 2020 after reports claiming that emails found on Hunter’s laptop could implicate Joe in his son’s international business dealings  

Kazakhstan’s former intelligence chief Karim Massimov, who Hunter Biden had described as a ‘close friend,’ was arrested last week and charged with high treason as violent anti-government demonstrations there see more than 160 people killed and nearly 8,000 more injured. 

Massimov was arrested on Thursday, his own agency announced over the weekend, toward the end of a week of bloody protests sparked by a virtually overnight spike in fuel prices. 

On Wednesday he was fired from his role heading the Kazakhstan National Security Committee by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. He previously served as the country’s prime minister from 2007 to 2012 and again from 2014 to 2016.

A photo unearthed in October 2020 appears to show Joe Biden meeting with Massimov and Kenes Rakishev, his son Hunter’s alleged business partner in Kazakhstan. 

Hunter and Massimov reportedly became friendly when the then-vice president’s son served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma and Massimov was in his second stint as Kazakh prime minister.

The pair met up in Kazakhstan sometime in 2014 to discuss a potential energy deal, emails obtained from Hunter Biden’s laptop reveal. Hunter allegedly skipped out on his Secret Service detail for the private get-together.

It was in 2016 that the president’s son called Massimov a ‘close friend.’

An undated photo appears to show Joe Biden and his son Hunter (center) meeting with Kazak businessman Kenes Rakishev (left) and Kazakhstan’s former prime minister Karim Mossimov (right). The photo was first published on the website of an anti-corruption group called the Kazakhstani Initiative on Asset Recovery in 2019 and has not been independently verified
Massimov served as Kazakhstan’s prime minister from 2007 to 2012 and again from 2014 to 2016
In one email from March 15, 2015, Devon Archer – former adviser to then-Secretary of State John Kerry – forwarded to Hunter an invite from Kazakh banker Marc Holtzman to a ‘small private breakfast’ with Massimov when he was prime minister

Another email from a former aide of John Kerry’s shows Hunter getting invited to a ‘private breakfast’ with Massimov in 2015 by Kazakh banker Marc Holtzman.

‘Prime Minister Massimov will be most delighted if you will please join us for a small breakfast at one table at the Willard Hotel, Holmes Suite from 8 am until 9 am,’ Holtzman’s email said. 

The National Security Committee, which Massimov ran until the day before his arrest, is Kazakhstan’s national intelligence agency that replaced the Soviet-era KGB after the USSR collapsed. 

There were no details of the treason allegations against him. The security service said other officials were also detained, but did not name them.

On Friday, a pro-government politician said on television he had information that the security forces had been ordered to abandon Almaty airport so protesters could take it over. He said they had left a security building in the city undefended, enabling people to seize weapons.

It was not immediately possible to verify this account. The airport remains closed but is now under the control of Kazakh security personnel and Russian troops, according to Russia’s defense ministry. 

Protests that were sparked by a near-doubling of gas prices were initially peaceful when they broke out on January 2. But they quickly turned violent, becoming a broader rebuke against Tokayev’s Russian-backed government.

The protests that sparked by high fuel prices in Kazakhstan on January 2 have since seen more than 160 people killed and nearly 8,000 detained

As of January 10, Kazakh authorities reported that 7,939 people have been detained and 164 people were confirmed dead — including three children.

The undated photograph of Massimov and the Bidens, published in an October 2020 report, resurfaced in the wake of a New York Post report claiming that emails found on Hunter’s laptop could purportedly implicate Joe in his embattled son’s international business dealings during his time as vice president. 

In the image – which was published on the website of an anti-corruption group called the Kazakhstani Initiative on Asset Recovery and has not been independently verified – Joe and Hunter are seen smiling alongside Rakishev and Mossimov. lifted the lid on Hunter’s alleged relationship with Rakishev last week, revealing that between 2012 and 2014 the former VP’s son worked as a sort of go-between helping the Kazak businessman broker US investments.  

Emails passed to The Mail via anti-corruption campaigners from the Central Asian country revealed that Hunter held extensive meetings with Rakishev, who has close family ties to the kleptocratic regime of his homeland’s despotic former president Nursultan Nazarbayev. lifted the lid on Hunter’s alleged relationship with Rakishev (pictured) last week

Hunter also traveled to the Kazakh capital of Astana to hold business discussions with Rakishev, who was apparently looking to invest a portion of his personal fortune in New York and Washington DC. 

Hunter then attempted to persuade Rakishev to buy into a Nevadan mining company, brokering a series of meetings with the firm, before convincing him to invest a cool million dollars with Alexandra Forbes Kerry, the film-maker daughter of Democrat Senator and former Presidential candidate John Kerry.

Rakishev, who wrote messages in broken English, appeared to have become intimate with the vice president’s son, calling Hunter ‘my brother!’ and ‘my brother from another mother!’

They shared gossip about their family holidays and dined together at luxury restaurants in New York and Washington DC (‘I’m on vacation with family [at] Lake Michigan . . . trying to spend some much needed time with my wife and daughters. It’s my 20th anniversary of marriage tomorrow,’ Hunter told Rakishev in July 2013).

The unverified photo fueled speculation that Hunter may have dragged his father into the oligarch’s orbit as well – deepening a long-standing controversy over Hunter’s overseas business dealings when Joe was VP.

Joe Biden and his son Hunter are facing renewed scrutiny related to Hunter’s business dealings overseas after his abandoned laptop was found to hold e-mails that allegedly show Joe Biden was in on Hunter’s deals. Joe Biden’s campaign has denied any wrongdoing

Hunter has for years been criticized for his lucrative but ethically questionable work overseas, which has often created apparent conflicts of interest with Joe’s official roles.  

The Biden campaign was rocked by a vintage ‘October surprise’ last week when a New York Post expose claimed that Hunter’s laptop was abandoned at the computer shop in April 2019 for months and was found to contain emails that could implicate Joe.  

The laptop’s hard drive was obtained by Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who shared its contents with the Post. 

Senior federal officials told Fox News on Tuesday that the FBI is now in possession of the computer and confirmed that Hunter’s emails are ‘authentic’.  

The emails indicated that Hunter introduced his father Vadym Pozharskyi of Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company that Hunter served on the board of, in 2015. 

The purported meeting allegedly took place a year before Joe pressured Ukrainian government officials to fire the prosecutor involved in an investigation of Burisma.  

In one email, Pozharskyi wrote: ‘Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.’ 

The email did not state that the two actually met, and the Biden campaign responded that ‘we have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.’  

But the campaign later conceded that they couldn’t rule out that the meeting may have happened.  

Other emails purportedly sent by Hunter showed him leveraging his dad’s office to boost his pay on Burisma’s board.  

The FBI has declined to confirm whether or not it is examining Hunter’s laptop and its contents. 

It comes hours after former President Trump demanded that Attorney General Bill Barr ‘act fast’ and appoint a special counsel to probe his Democratic rival before Election Day.

Then-Donald Trump said he wanted attorney general Bill Barr to name a special prosecutor to probe the Bidens 

Trump called for Barr to appoint someone to probe the laptop, which has become the subject of repeated Trump attacks on his rival after Giuliani handed over the contents to the Post.  

The ex-president said it revealed ‘major corruption’ and that it has to come out before the election.

Trump has yet to specify what crime he believes the Bidens have committed, but that has not stopped him from going as far as suggesting to voters that Biden belongs in jail. 

His demand would appear to run smack into a Justice Department policy against taking actions that would interfere in an election – an issue that played out in 2016 in both the Hillary Clinton email probe and the then-unknown Russia probe.

‘We’ve got to get the attorney general to act. He’s got to act. And he’s got to act fast. He’s got to appoint somebody,’ Trump said when asked about naming a special counsel on Fox & Friends.    

Who is Kenes Rakishev? The Kazak businessman who ‘hired Hunter Biden as a go-between for brokering US investments’ 

Reporting by Guy Adams for The Daily Mail 

Kenes Rakishev’s relationship with Hunter Biden was laid bare in emails obtained by the Daily Mail last week amid a deepening scandal surrounding Hunter’s overseas business dealings.  

The Mail revealed that between 2012 and 2014, Hunter worked as a sort of go-between for Rakishev, a self-styled ‘international businessman, investor and entrepreneur’ with close family connections to the kleptocratic regime of his homeland’s despotic former president Nursultan Nazarbayev. 

In the UK, Rakishev is perhaps best known due to a bizarre 2008 episode when he’d helped a fellow oligarch chum called Timur Kulibayev use a firm registered in the British Virgin Islands buy a home from Prince Andrew: his Windsor mansion Sunninghill Park, which oddly went for £15million, some £3million over the asking price.

Coverage of the episode had noted that Kulibayev was the son-in-law of the aforementioned despot Nazarbayev, who ruled Kazakhstan for more than two decades, turning it into one of the world’s most corrupt kleptocracies.

Rakishev, for his part, is married to the daughter of a former mayor of the country’s capital city (recently re-named ‘Nursultan,’ after the elderly despot), who later served as its Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. 

The Mail revealed that between 2012 and 2014, Hunter worked as a sort of go-between for Rakishev (pictured), a self-styled ‘international businessman, investor and entrepreneur’ with close family connections to the kleptocratic regime of his homeland’s despotic former president Nursultan Nazarbayev

Fast forward to 2012 and Rakishev had just joined Forbes magazine’s top-15 list of Kazakhstan’s ‘most influential’ tycoons, with estimated assets of some $332million. Like many an oligarch in possession of a huge fortune, Rakishev was now looking for a safe place to park it, so had come to America in search of new places to invest his hard-earned roubles.

Sadly, things hadn’t gone entirely smoothly. For in the highly-regulated world of Western capitalism, Rakishev discovered that blue-chip investment partners were often reluctant to take his cash.

To blame? The fact that no one was entirely sure where his wealth actually came from.

For example, the leaked emails obtained by the Mail show that the International Finance Corporation, a highly respectable sister organisation of the World Bank, held preliminary talks with Rakishev about a business collaboration, before deciding to pull out.

The IFC then politely informed the oligarch that it ‘cannot invest with him’ because its ‘very deep due diligence processes’ had established that he had some ‘connections’ involving the ‘president’s family’ that ‘are a liability to us’.

Seemingly outraged, Rakishev responded that he would ensure that the organization ‘never works in Kazakhstan with anyone.’

The United States Department of Justice then took an interest in Rakishev. It soon dragged him into an investigation of potential breaches the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act related to ‘an investment in the oil and gas industry in Kazakhstan’.

Though Rakishev immediately denied all wrongdoing, and no charges were ever filed, in September 2013 he decided to hire a notoriously expensive US law firm called Greenberg Traurig to deal with incoming fire related to the probe.

It seems that two attorneys who led a team working the Kazakh’s case, John Pappalardo and Stanford Saunders, charged him in the region of $1,000 and $700 per hour respectively.

It was, doubtless, a very annoying (and expensive) business; not to mention highly frustrating for a man who had perhaps grown used to getting his own way. Which is perhaps what persuaded him to take meetings with Hunter Biden, a member of one of America’s most powerful political dynasties.

In May 2012, he was emailed by Hunter’s business partner Devon Archer, a lawyer and former Abercrombie & Fitch model. ‘Can you have dinner with me, Hunter Biden, Alex [Forbes Kerry] and team on Wednesday next week in NYC? I want to let Hunter know when he should come up from DC to see you on Wednesday. Looking forward to seeing you!’

Rakishev replied: ‘Hi Devon! I would be happy to have a dinner with you and all our friends! Thank you very much for invitations! Take care my brother!’

By July, Hunter had travelled to Astana to discuss business opportunities. ‘I wanted to check in with you and see what our next steps are to follow up on our visit to Kazakhstan,’ he wrote in an email to Rakishev sent shortly afterwards. ‘Let me know if you need anything from me.’

Three months later, Biden was helping Rakishev hold discussions about investing in Prospect Global Resources, a potash mining firm based in eastern Arizona.

Although the emails the Mail has seen show that the talks eventually broke down, he remained on friendly terms: ‘I wanted to reach back out to you and continue our conversations,’ Hunter wrote to Kulibayev on November 25, 2012. 

‘I understand you and Timur evaluated PGRX but it was not a good fit at this time. Thank you for taking a look at it and for the quick feedback as well. Let me know when you’d like to connect.’

The duo remained in close contact throughout the following year, discussing a range of business ventures.

Then, in late October 2013, Biden’s partner Archer arranged a conference call between Rakishev and the aforementioned Alex Forbes Kerry, who was by then attempting to raise cash to launch a film production firm.

Immediately after the call that December, Rakishev emailed with happy news: ‘Thank you my brother from another mother! Thanks you very much my brother! We decided to invest 1 mln [million]! Give them my email!’

Forbes Kerry, who has never publicly acknowledged her debt to Rakishev, finalised the deal in January 2014. The following month, she and Biden met Rakishev for dinner in Washington DC.

‘It was a pleasure to meet you with Devon and Hunter the other day,’ she told him by email afterwards. ‘I want to thank you for the beautiful watch! I am sorry I didn’t open it at the table. I misunderstood and thought it was a baby present so I only opened it when I was at home. It is absolutely beautiful and you are so generous . . . Please come to New York soon and bring your family. We will host you and your team.’

Rakishev responded that he intended to take up that offer in September. ‘Let’s be in touch!’ he wrote.

Sadly, at the time of this happy exchange, Biden’s marriage was in the process of breaking down. Things culminated in a spectacularly hostile divorce in which his wife Kathleen claimed he had spent ‘extravagantly on his own interests (including drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, strip clubs, and gifts for women with whom he has sexual relations), while leaving the family with no money to pay legitimate bills’. 

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