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Kazakhstan jails policeman after riot death

18 may 2012, 18:44
Photo by Maksim Popov©
Photo by Maksim Popov©
Kazakhstan on Thursday handed down a five-year sentence to a former police station chief whose suspect died in custody after being grabbed in a broad security sweep that followed deadly December riots, AFP reports.

The district criminal court in the oil-rich Mangistau region convicted Zhenisbek Temirov of exceeding his authority and also ordered him to pay a one-million-tenge ($6,750) fine to the victim's relatives.

Temirov is one of half dozen policemen tried by Kazakhstan in the wake of the Central Asian nation's worst violence in its post-Soviet history. Verdicts for the other five officers are expected in the coming days.

At least 15 people were killed when a long-standing wage strike in Zhanaozen, a town at the heart the nation's vital oil industry, degenerated into clashes between workers and their supporters and police.

Another 37 people accused of rioting are also on trial.

Police opened fire on the crowd during the crackdown and allegedly tortured 50-year-old Bazarbay Kenzhebayev to death in Temirov's police station.

The charge sheet against Temirov said he knew that Kenzhebayev was suffering from a medical condition but did not arrange for him to receive medication while in detention as required.

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