Friday, May 18, 2012 -
A Kazakh court on Thursday slapped a five-year jail term on a police boss over the death of a detainee arrested during oil riots in western Kazakhstan.
Zhenisbek Temirov, a former chief of a detention center in the oil town of Zhanaozen was sentenced for abusing his authority by holding the man illegally and failing to allow medical care to him.
The 50-year-old man, Bazarbai Kanzhebayev, was detained in mid-December during clashes between oil workers and police and beaten almost to death in custody. He died later in hospital.
"Temirov, in the knowledge that one of those held illegally – [Bazarbai] Kenzhebayev - required medical aid, did not take the requisite measures, which resulted in the death of the latter," the Reuters news agency cited the Mangistau provincial court as saying in a statement.
At least 15 unarmed people, protesting for higher wages and better working conditions, were killed during the violence on December 16 – most of them shot dead on the streets by police.
Thirty-seven alleged rioters are in the dock of a separate court trial underway in Aktau, capital city of the Caspian Sea province.
Temirov, whose trial began on April 25 and ended May 11, was also ordered to pay damages of $6,750 to the family of the dead man. He has the right of appeal.
Separately, a handful of other policemen are also on trial for opening fire against the civilians. They say the demonstrators gave them no choice. Evidence, including film footage taken by people on the scene appears to show otherwise.