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Long way home: Tenizbayev acquitted by British jury

09 january 2014, 18:50
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Photo a courtesy of Tenizbayev's VK.com page
Photo a courtesy of Tenizbayev's VK.com page
The Kazakh teenager, arrested on charges of sexual harassment in London on August 2013, was acquitted in a jury trial, Tengrinews reports, citing Vesti.kz.

Back in July, 2013, 18 y.o. Tenizbayev was arrested for allegedly sexually harassing a British citizen on an airplane. He was on his way home from the Taekwondo Championship in Mexico with the Taekwondo Federation coach. The teenager reportedly accidentally touched the British woman seated next to him on her arm while he was sleeping. The teenager offered his apologies and explanations and the incident seemed resolved, but a different passenger of the airplane reported the incident and Tenizbayev was arrested upon landing in London.

It further aggravate his situation the teenaged signed a confession right after the arrest. As it turned out later he was not aware that it was a confession he was singing due to poor command of English.

The first hearing took place on August 23 in London. The lawyers were able to prove that the teenager signed the confession only due to his lack of English, and not because he was guilty. They convinced the judge to allow him freedom of London as long as he wears an electronic ankle bracelet. Tenizbayev was released on bail of £6000 ($9800) but under the condition that he wore the electronic device on his leg and reported to the police officer every day.

On September 5, at the second hearing, the judge scheduled the main hearing for January 6, 2014. The hearings took place on January 6 and 8.

“Azamat was acquitted by the jury and he is coming back to Kazakhstan soon,” said the coach of the Kazakhstan Taekwondo Federation Arman Chilmanov. According to the Coach, there was one more hearing scheduled for January 9, but since the prosecutor failed to prove Tenizbayev’s guilt on the January 8 hearing and the jury delivered a judgment to acquit the teenager there was no need for one more hearing.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that the documents for Tenizbayev’s return to Kazakhstan are being readied. The teenager will be finally returning home in about a week.

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