Disgraced Kazakh Minister Jailed for 24 Years for Brutally Beating Wife to Death

Disgraced Kazakh Minister Jailed for 24 Years for Brutally Beating Wife to Death
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A for­mer Kaza­kh econ­o­my min­is­ter has been sen­tenced to 24 years in prison for mur­der­ing his astrologer wife in a bru­tal eight-hour attack. Kuandyk Bishim­bayev, 44, was found guilty of inten­tion­al­ly caus­ing griev­ous harm to his wife, Saltanat Nuken­o­va, 31, which result­ed in her death through negligence.

The hor­rif­ic attack took place in a restau­rant in Astana, the coun­try’s cap­i­tal, where Bishim­bayev sav­age­ly beat his wife for eight hours before she died of brain trau­ma. The court heard that Bishim­bayev gasped “Why?” as the ver­dict was read, and he insist­ed he was innocent.

The tri­al, which has been dubbed the “tri­al of the cen­tu­ry” in Kaza­khstan, cap­ti­vat­ed the nation and sparked out­rage over domes­tic vio­lence. The case has also brought atten­tion to the coun­try’s high rates of domes­tic vio­lence, with many call­ing for tougher laws to pro­tect women.

Accord­ing to local media, Bishim­bayev was a close friend of for­mer pres­i­dent Nur­sul­tan Nazarbayev, and his fall from grace has been seen as a sig­nif­i­cant one. The politi­cian’s jail term is a huge fall from his pos­si­ble heir to the ex-president.

The court heard that Bishim­bayev tried to destroy all CCTV evi­dence and sent the staff home to avoid wit­ness­es. Local media report­ed that many Kaza­khs see Bishim­bayev as typ­i­cal of the coun­try’s wealthy and pow­er­ful rul­ing elite, and many fear that he will some­how escape prop­er punishment.

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