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Police officers could have used batons for suppression of Zhanaozen clashes: Prosecutor

29 апреля 2012, 13:18
Photo by  Maksim Popov©
Photo by Maksim Popov©
The accusations were announced to policemen during the trial in specialized inter-regional criminal court in Aktau on Friday, April 27, Interfax-Kazakhstan reports.

All five of them (deputy head of oblast Interior Department Kabdygali Utegaliyev, head of Anti-Extremism Department of the Interior Department Bekzhan Bagdabayev, operative authorized officer of Mangistau oblast Interior Department Rinat Zholdybayev, first deputy head of Zhanaozen Interior Department Yerlan Bakytkaliuly and senior investigator of Zhanaozen Interior Department Nurlan Yesbergenov) are charged with exceeding powers or authorities causing heavy consequences with the use of fire arms (Aricle 308, part 4 of Kazakhstan Criminal Code).

According to one of the prosecutors, the accused “had the reasonable option of using other methods (for suppression of Zhanaozen clashes), in particular rubber bullets and batons”. “Despite of that and being aware of the extent for their authority, they used the firearms. Being in a group of 97 police officers, they opened fire, inflicting grievous bodily injuries,” state prosecutor said.

The trial is observed by Kazakhstan observers, two representatives of the U.S. embassy and two observers from Ukraine. The trial is held in the state language (Kazakh).

The clashes took place in Zhanaozen and Shetpe village of Mangistau oblast on December 16-17, 2011. They claimed lives of 15 people and injured over 100 people. Earlier Kazakhstan State Prosecutor’s office stated that police officers were acting rightfully in Zhanaozen, but in some of the cases the use of the weapons was excessive.

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