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Kazakhstan: Journalist Sentenced to Jail, Released On Amnesty

Almaty, 4 July 2002 (RFE/RL) -- An editor of an independent Kazakh newspaper was today sentenced to a prison term for alleged business violations. But Irina Petrushova was released because a judge ruled the case falls under a wide-ranging amnesty granted last year on the 10th anniversary of Kazakhstan's independence.

Petrushova, the editor in chief of the "Respublika Business Review," was sentenced to 1 and a half years in prison because Kazakh tax police accused Petrushova of working in the country without official permission. Petrushova is a Russian citizen.

Petrushova's lawyer, Irina Fedorova today said the case was politically motivated, intended to put pressure on her client. "Respublika Business Review" has reported widely on official corruption in Kazakhstan, and published many stories about the prosecution of opposition activists. The paper's publication was suspended for two months in April.