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Kazakh Opposition Leaders' Trial Begins

Asylbek Kozhakhmetov and Bolat Abilov (far left and second from left) at a press conference in October
ALMATY -- The trial of three Kazakh opposition leaders accused of conspiracy has begun in Almaty, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Asylbek Kozhakhmetov, leader of the unregistered Alga party, and Azat party leader Bolat Abilov are present at the trial, while the third opposition activist, Tolen Tokhtasynov, is currently abroad.

The three have been officially charged with conspiracy for allegedly assisting two suspected criminals to obtain political asylum in Ukraine several years ago.

Kozhakhmetov told RFE/RL that the charges are politically motivated.