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Former Kazakhstani economy minister sentenced to 24 years in prison for wife’s murder

Source: Meduza

An Astana court has sentenced former Kazakhstani Economy Minister Kuandyk Bishimbayev to 24 years in prison for the murder of his wife, Saltanat Nukenova.

Bakytzhan Baizhanov, a relative of Bishimbayev, was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of concealing and failing to report the murder.

Saltanat Nukenova died in November 2023 after Bishimbayev repeatedly assaulted her in a restaurant over the course of eight hours. The high-profile murder, much of which was filmed by security cameras, launched a nationwide discussion in Kazakhstan about the need for legislation protecting victims of domestic violence. In mid-April, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a law increasing penalties for violence against women and children and allowing for the creation of support centers for victims. Human Rights Watch has said the measures are good but insufficient.

Kuandyk Bishimbayev served as Kazakhstan’s economy minister for several months in 2016. In 2018, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison on corruption charges, but he was pardoned and released just two years later.

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