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Kazakhstan: Is Shymkent Tycoon a Coup Plotter or Fall Guy?

Tohtar Tuleshov (front) at war games that he organized for his father’s birthday in 2015. (Photo: Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee)

A military court in Kazakhstan last week began hearings behind closed doors in the trial of one of the country’s wealthiest men.
 
Tohtar Tuleshov, a prominent brewery tycoon in the southern city of Shymkent, stands accused of planning and financing an attempt to violently seize power. Court proceedings are being kept classified, but the tone for the state’s case against Tuleshov was set by a documentary aired on private television station KTK over the weekend.
 
The documentary, titled “Shymkent Excesses,” dwelled for the most part on Tuleshov’s allegedly criminal behavior, as well as his supposed fondness for garish opulence. Although the makers of the documentary never spell it out, circumstantial evidence indicates that the content and slant of the program constitutes a public relations assault on Tuleshov that is seemingly intended to justify the government’s case against him.
 

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Aktan Rysaliev is a pseudonym for a journalist working in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan: Is Shymkent Tycoon a Coup Plotter or Fall Guy?

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