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Kazakh Tries, Fails To Give Authorities The Finger

Takhirzhan Akhmetov has sought desperately to draw attention to the fact that a former partner who he says cut him out of a successful business venture has never compensated him in line with a court verdict handed down years ago.

He blames the defendant, but also the Kazakh legal system for not ensuring that the judgment was ever paid.

Last year, he cut off the tip of his little finger and tried to hand it to an OSCE representative in Kazakhstan.

He threatened to strike again in February. But this month, he convened a press conference at which he vowed to cut off his ring finger.

We advise readers that his video of that event, from RFE/RL's Kazakh Service, contains graphic scenes and is not for the faint of heart. But if it helps to know, Akhmetov failed in his attempt to sever the finger completely.

-- Andy Heil

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at