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Kazakh Journalist Fired For Asking Probing Question

ORAL, Kazakhstan -- A journalist in the western Kazakh town of Oral was fired one day after asking the regional governor a question about his family's business connections.

Luqpan Akhmediyarov, the chief news editor at the TDK-42 television channel, asked Governor Bakhytkozha Izmukhambetov on January 28 if any of his relatives would receive some of the 2009 state budget that is allocated for regional development.

The question was posed because the governor's son-in-law owns one of the largest construction companies in the province.

Akhmediyarov told RFE/RL's Kazakh Service that TDK-42 General Director Serik Mergaliev reprimanded him for asking such a question and then fired him. Mergaliev's office refused to speak with RFE/RL.