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Kazakh Opposition Wants Probe Of Politician's Death

Zamanbek Nurkadilov (file photo) (RFE/RL) Almaty, 14 November (RFE/RL) -- Kazakhstan's main opposition coalition has called for foreign experts to be allowed to participate in an investigation into the death of a prominent opposition figure, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported.

In a statement today, the For a Just Kazakhstan coalition called on law enforcement agencies to carry out a "meticulous, transparent" inquiry into the death of Zamanbek Nurkadilov, who was found dead in his house in Almaty on 12 November.

Nurkadilov's family lawyer, Serikali Musin, told RFE/RL on 13 November that the dead man had been shot twice in the heart and once in the head.

"There were two gunshot wounds around the left side of the victim's chest," Musin said. "The bullets passed through him and ended up in the back of a chair. The third, so-called 'control shot' was directed into his head, from right to left. The bullet also went through, and it was found at the place of the incident. In addition to that, a small pillow was found during an inspection of the place of the incident. There is a hole from a gunshot in this pillow. The gunshot was made through this pillow."

Almaty police chief Moldiyar Orazaliyev said there was no sign of a struggle at the house where Nurkadilov died.

Orazaliev also dismissed assertions that Nurkadilov might have been murdered because of his outspoken opposition to the government.

Nurkadilov -- a one-time ally of President Nursultan Nazarbaev -- was a former mayor of Almaty and government minister before joining the opposition two years ago and accusing the government of corruption.

(with material from AFP)

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