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Kazakh President Replaces Health Minister

Zhaqsylyq Dosqaliev

Zhaqsylyq Dosqaliev

ASTANA -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has appointed Salidat Qayirbekova to replace hospitalized Health Minister Zhaqsylyq Dosqaliev, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Dosqaliev was hospitalized on September 27 with an apparent stroke after being interrogated by the police.

On September 29, a court in Astana refused to issue an arrest warrant for Dosqaliev due to his reported poor health.

The financial police said last week that Dosqaliev, 54, may have faked a stroke to avoid being detained.

On October 5, financial police spokesman Murat Zhumanbai told journalists that doctors treating Dosqaliev had confessed that they made a false diagnosis of a stroke at Dosqaliev's request.

Zhumanbai told journalists that Dosqaliev is suspected of embezzlement, bribe taking, and the illegal sale of real estate.

Qayirbekova, who was appointed by Nazarbaev on October 7, had served as Dosqaliev's deputy.