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Three Sentenced In Kazakhstan For Kyrgyz Journalist's Murder

WATCH: Judge Akhmetkali Moldaghaliev reads the verdict and the defendants are led from the courtroom. (Video by RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Three men have been jailed for up to 17 years in Kazakhstan after being found guilty of the murder of a prominent Kyrgyz journalist, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Gennady Pavlyuk, 51, died after he was thrown from a high building in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in December 2009 with his arms and legs bound.

Former security service officer Aldayar Ismankulov, a Kyrgyz citizen, was sentenced today to 17 years in jail, while his two codefendants, Kazakh nationals Almas Igilikov and Shalqar Orazalin were sentenced to 10 and 11 years in jail respectively.

An ethnic Russian, Pavlyuk was known in Kyrgyzstan under the pseudonym Rustam Ibragimbek.

He founded the "White Steamer" newspaper and website. He also wrote for the newspaper "Vecherny Bishkek" (Evening Bishkek) and the Russian weekly "Argumenty i Fakty" (Arguments and Facts).

Pavlyuk's relatives and colleagues in Kyrgyzstan have alleged that his murder was politically motivated as he was working with the opposition against then President Kurmabnek Bakiev and his regime. He had also received many personal threats in the period before he was killed.

Before traveling to Almaty, Pavlyuk had met with Omurbek Tekebaev -- then a Kyrgyz opposition politician -- and discussed possible cooperation with Tekebaev's Ata-Meken (Fatherland) party.

But the October 11 court verdict described the killing as an ordinary crime.

Read more in Kazakh here