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Kazakh Opposition Weekly To Go On Trial

Shots were fired through the newspaper's windows in April.

Shots were fired through the newspaper's windows in April.

The popular Kazakh opposition weekly "Taszharghan" (Stonebreaker) faces three lawsuits and a devastating $2.5 million fine, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The paper's editors, accused of defamation by parliament deputy Romin Madinov, the Almaty City Interior Affairs Department, and Tigrohaud, a privately held company, are scheduled to go on trial starting December 24.

A guilty sentence would guarantee the paper's closure, "Taszharghan" editor in chief Almat Azadi told RFE/RL.

The weekly has already been shut down four times in the last seven years.

In April, shots were fired through the weekly's office windows. Editors said the shots were intended as warnings for the newspaper to stop its investigations of corruption and other sensitive matters.

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