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Kazakhstan: Former PM Gets 10 Years in Jail

In one of the greatest falls from grace in the post-independence history of Kazakhstan, a court in the industrial city of Karaganda on December 11 sentenced former prime minister Serik Akhmetov to 10 years in jail for corruption.

The severity of the punishment has set tongues wagging about ulterior motives and show trials, especially since corruption is rife and cases of abuse of office have abounded in recent years, but rarely with such severe outcomes.

Akhmetov was arrested on charges of grave corruption on November 18, 2014, less than one month after being removed from his post as defense minister. Rumors immediately began circulating of infighting among Kazakhstan’s notoriously fractious elites.

According to prosecutors, Akhmetov, who was prime minister for 18 months until his resignation in April 2014, took bribes of $2.4 million and embezzled large amounts of a state resources. 

Another 20 officials from the Karaganda city and region were also in the dock in the broad-ranging and lengthy trial, which reviewed material contained in 338 volumes of evidence.

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Kazakhstan: Former PM Gets 10 Years in Jail

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