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Friday May 24, 2024

Kazakh court orders ex-minister jailed for 24 years for wife’s murder

A court in the capital Astana handed the prison term to former economy minister Kuandyk Bishimbayev

By AFP
May 14, 2024
Kazakhstans former Economy Minister Kuandyk Bishimbayev is seen behind a glass wall of an enclosure for defendants during a court hearing in Astana, Kazakhstan, May 13, 2024. — Reuters
Kazakhstan's former Economy Minister Kuandyk Bishimbayev is seen behind a glass wall of an enclosure for defendants during a court hearing in Astana, Kazakhstan, May 13, 2024. — Reuters

ASTANA, Kazakhstan: A court in Kazakhstan on Monday sentenced a former minister to 24 years in prison for beating his wife to death in a restaurant in a case that shocked the country.

A court in the capital Astana handed the prison term to former economy minister Kuandyk Bishimbayev, who murdered his spouse, Saltanat Nukenova, in the city last year. Bishimbayev, 44, was found guilty of torture and murder.

Following the killing, an online petition was launched in the Central Asian country calling for tougher legislation to protect women. It gathered tens of thousands of signatures in days. Bishimbayev pleaded not guilty. He had already been sentenced to 10 years in prison for corruption in 2018 but was freed a year later after an amnesty.

More than 80 femicides are officially recorded each year in Kazakhstan, where domestic violence is not included in the criminal code. The United Nations estimates the unofficial figure could be as high as 400.