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Former Kazakh Uranium Company Chief Hospitalized During Trial

Mukhtar Dzhakishev in July

Mukhtar Dzhakishev in July

ASTANA -- Mukhtar Dzhakishev, the former head of Kazakh uranium producer KazAtomProm, was taken from an Astana courtroom and hospitalized today, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Nurlan Beisekeev, Dzhakishev's lawyer and the only person allowed to attend the proceedings, told RFE/RL that Dzhakishev's blood pressure abruptly became very high and an ambulance was called to the courtroom.

The judge decided to continue the trial without him.

The hearings began on December 22 and are being held behind closed doors, despite the Prosecutor-General Office's previous pledges to hold a transparent attended by members of the media.

Dzhakishev and a number of his associates were arrested in May and have been held in a National Security Committee jail in Astana since then.

Dzhakishev's relatives and colleagues say he has suffered from health problems while in detention.

Opposition groups in Kazakhstan consider the charges against him and his co-workers to be politically motivated.