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Kazakh Opposition Leader's Murder Trial Set

Demonstrators holding pictures of Sarsenbaev soon after his death in February (RFE/RL) June 7, 2006 -- Court hearings into the recent assassination of Kazakh opposition politician Altynbek Sarsenbaev will start next week.

Almaty regional deputy prosecutor Gabit Mirazov said today the trial will start on June 14 and will be open to the media.

Sarsenbaev, a leader of the the Naghyz Ak Zhol (True Bright Path) party, was shot dead on Almaty's outskirts in February along with his driver and his bodyguard.

Erzhan Utembaev, who was running the Senate's administration at the time of the killing, has been charged with involvement in the killing. Members of a crack unit of the National Security Committee have also been charged with carrying out the slayings.

Many in Kazakhstan suspect higher officials are involved in the killing.

(Kazakhstan Today, Interfax-Kazakhstan)