Monday, June 04, 2012 -
Armed Kazakh police officers temporarily lost control of a crowded courtroom in Aktau on Monday as distraught relatives angrily awaited the verdicts of 37 people charged over deadly riots in western Kazakhstan last December.
A video posted online at azattyq.org and reposted by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) shows Kazakh police officers forcing distraught relatives out of the room as women wailed, some fainted, and others pushed at police officers to reach the glass box holding the convicted.
The judge was forced to retreat as relatives threw their cell phones and other objects at him.
Once police regained control of the makeshift courtroom, the judge returned to pronounce the final verdict against 37 people on trial for their involvement in the clashes, which left at least 14 dead.
He imposed jail sentences ranging from four and seven years on 12 people. A further 16 defendants were granted suspended sentences, three were acquitted, and five were amnestied, RFE/RL reported.
The trial was the largest of four related to the December clashes in the oil town of Zhanaozen in Mangistau province.
Another court on May 28 sentenced five policemen to between five and seven years behind bars for shooting dead unarmed protestors.
On May 21, a court convicted six other people over related rioting in the village of Shetpe, also in Mangistau province.
In early May, the chief of Zhanaozen detention center was handed a five-year sentence for restricting medical care to one detainee who later died of his injuries.