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House Of Kazakh Opposition Leader's Relative Demolished


This holiday house was demolished in what Kozlov believes was a politically motivated act.

This holiday house was demolished in what Kozlov believes was a politically motivated act.

A house near Almaty owned by a relative of Vladimir Kozlov, the leader of the opposition Algha (Forward) party, has been demolished by order of city officials, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Kozlov told RFE/RL that earlier this month an Almaty court decided to demolish the summer house that his mother-in-law, Gulnar Baitukenova, had recently purchased. The court ruled the house had been built illegally.

Kozlov and his supporters spent February 23 near the building in the hope of preventing the demolition, which was carried out immediately after they left late at night.

He said the decision to demolish the building was politically motivated and the authorities plotted to destroy the house when he wasn't present.

"They have apparently been following my every step to avoid any open confrontation with me and prevent any leakage to the media," he told RFE/RL.

Kozlov is currently under investigation for tax evasion. The case was launched last year after he announced in October his intention to take part in the next presidential election.

But in January he said he would not run as he is not fluent enough in Kazakh to pass the mandatory Kazakh-language examination required for all would-be candidates.

Qarasai district court bailiff Bauyrzhan Madiev, who oversaw the demolition, was not available for comment.

Kozlov said he plans to sue the local court and the bailiff.

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