Public hearing on “coal theft” cases concludes

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The Parliamentary ad hoc committee's evidence-based public hearings on the “coal theft”  issue ended on December 22. The ad hoc committee conducted the public hearing in two phases for nine days to inspect and analyze the cases and evidence tied to operations of state-owned mining companies on coal mining exports, sales, transportation, other goods, and services.  B.Enkhbayar, Minister of Justice and Internal Affairs led the ad hoc committee and the members of the committee included the Members of the Parliament, E.Bat-Amgalan, G.Ganbold, B.Jargalmaa, J.Bat-Erdene, M.Oyunchimeg, J.Sukhbaatar, S.Ganbaatar, D.Ganbat, T.Dorjkhand, and O.Tsogtgerel. 

B.Enkhbayar conveyed the closing statement and said, “the amendment to the Constitution of Mongolia in 2019 was dwelled in order to create a legal framework for the public to review and be involved with resolving certain issues affecting the public interest related to the implementation of the state law”. The result of which is the establishment of the ad hoc committee and its ongoing role to inspect and analyze the cases on coal theft. The pathway to lead open hearings to allocate and analyze the evidence was not easy or smooth. The Constitution states that all the rights of the Government of Mongolia are under the control of the people. “I would like to point out that there have been repeated attempts by groups related to ‘coal theft’ to obstruct and divert the ‘coal theft hearing, which was organized to implement the Constitution and ensure the people's right to know”, reported B.Enkhbayar. 

The evidence pertaining to 60 different issues was analyzed and inspected in two phases of public hearings in nine days. The hearings were attended by the members of the ad hoc committee, auditors, experts, officials, observers and witnesses. 419 (72.6 percent) of the 577 witnesses summoned and attended the hearing in duplicate numbers. In addition, 16 experts are involved in the hearing to analyze the evidence.

B.Enkhbayar said on behalf of the ad hoc review committee, “I would like to express my deep gratitude to the experts and committee members who worked hard in a very short period of time to bend the main task of organizing the hearing successfully”. He also extended his gratitude to G.Zandanshatar, Speaker of the Parliament, for having shown his political leadership in making the historic decision to open up to public many illegal activities that have taken place in the past, having established and operated the Ad Hoc Committee of the Parliament, and having supported the effort to fight against “coal theft” from the beginning. B.Enkhbayar also thanked Prime Minister L.Oyun-Erdene for his bravery and leadership, the members of the ad hoc committee for their proactive role and dedication, and all staff of the Secretariat of the Parliament for having successfully organized the hearing. Furthermore, B.Enkhbayar highlighted the ending of the hearing organized by the ad hoc committee with thanks to all the staff of Mongolian National Broadcaster, media organizations and journalists who also worked to ensure the right of citizens to know. Lastly, the Head of ad hoc committee stated that the public hearing organized by the ad hoc committee of the parliament would establish justice, end theft and fraud, hold people accountable, demand the public to properly use natural resources in accordance with the public interest, and protect the lives of the people who own them. B.Enkhbayar believes that the hearing will have a significant impact on the government's implementation of the next measures necessary for the improvement and development of the country's economy and further development.

Iveel Munkhbaatar

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