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Former Kazakh Health Minister's Trial To Start In January

Zhaqsylyq Dosqaliev (file photo)

Zhaqsylyq Dosqaliev (file photo)

ASTANA -- Former Kazakh Health Minister Zhaqsylyq Dosqaliev will go on trial in January on charges of financial crimes, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Dosqaliev is charged with abuse of office, embezzlement, bribe taking, and the illegal sale of real estate. His lawyers told RFE/RL today that he started answering investigators' questions on December 20. The lawyers say Dosqaliev's health condition remains poor after he suffered a stroke earlier this year.

Kazakh financial police suspect Dosqaliev, 54, simulated the stroke after they interrogated him in September. Dosqaliev was hospitalized and later transferred to a pretrial detention center in Astana.

He was dismissed by President Nursultan Nazarbaev on October 8.

Also in October, several doctors who diagnosed Dosqaliev as having suffered a stroke were charged with "using their professional position to obstruct the course of justice."

The financial police announced that those doctors had confessed that they falsely diagnosed the stroke at Dosqaliev's request. One of them, Aygul Zhetimkarynova, head of the emergency section at the national Medical Research Center in Astana, died suddenly in October. According to the official autopsy, the cause of death was a "massive tumor."

Dosqaliev's lawyers say he has lost the use of his left arm and leg and can only walk with crutches.

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