Former Kazakh Minister Sentenced to 24 Years for Wife's Murder

Written by Henrik Rothen

May.14 - 2024 11:22 AM CET

Photo: Wiki Commons
Photo: Wiki Commons
Former Kazakh Minister sentenced to 24 years for brutally murdering his wife, sparking legal reforms.

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On Monday, a former Minister of Economy of Kazakhstan was sentenced to 24 years in prison for the murder of his wife. The case has caused a significant public outcry and has led to legislative changes.

According to TV Republika, the 44-year-old politician committed the murder on November 9, 2023, at a restaurant owned by one of his relatives. Witnesses testified that the crime was carried out with particular cruelty.

During the trial, which lasted over two months, family members of the victim alleged that Biszymbayev frequently abused his wife. The indictment included charges not only of murder but also of severe domestic abuse.

The court found that the restaurant owner, Bakhytzhan Bayzhanov, assisted the murderer in attempting to cover up the crime. He tried to delete surveillance footage and instructed staff to remain silent. Bayzhanov was also sentenced to four years in prison.

Public and Legal Repercussions

The trial attracted substantial attention in Kazakhstan.

Court sessions were held almost daily from March 11 due to the large number of witnesses and evidence. Proceedings were broadcast on television and the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan's YouTube channel.

Social activists highlighted that existing laws did not sufficiently protect victims of domestic violence.

In April, while the trial was still ongoing, the Kazakh parliament amended the criminal code to impose harsher penalties for such crimes.

Kuandyk Biszymbayev had a prior criminal record. He served as Minister of Economy from May to December 2016, after which he was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison for corruption. He was conditionally released after one and a half years.

The high-profile case has sparked discussions on domestic violence and the need for stricter legal measures to protect victims. The sentencing of both Biszymbayev and Bayzhanov is seen as a pivotal moment in the fight against domestic violence in Kazakhstan.

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