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Kazakhstan: Trial Of Journalist Resumes

Almaty, 7 January 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The trial of prominent Kazakh journalist Sergei Duvanov (pictured) today continued for a second day in Almaty. Duvanov, the editor of a human rights publication, is charged with raping a 14-year-old girl. Duvanov's supporters say his arrest and the charges against him are politically motivated.

Duvanov's trial started last month but was postponed until yesterday at the request of the defense. Lawyers said the proceedings are now likely to be fairer than before, because international observers have been admitted to the trial.

Duvanov was arrested a day before he was due to travel to Washington for talks on human rights and media freedom in Kazakhstan. He had previously been investigated for "insulting the honor and dignity of the president" after writing articles critical of President Nursultan Nazarbaev.