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Kazakh Opposition Party Leader In Tax Evasion Probe

Vladimir Kozlov
Vladimir Kozlov
ALMATY, Kazakhstan, October 29, 2010 (RFE/RL) -- A Kazakh opposition party leader is under investigation for possible tax evasion, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Tax authorities on October 28 launched an investigation into the finances of Vladimir Kozlov, leader of the unregistered Forward (Algha) party.

Representatives of the Almaty Tax Department told RFE/RL that Kozlov owes over 3.3 million tenge ($22,000) in taxes. They say the investigation has nothing to do with Kozlov's political activities.

Kozlov told RFE/RL that he is certain the investigation was launched because of his announcement on October 22 that he plans to run in the presidential election due in 2012.

On October 27, Kozlov and leading members of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan were pelted with eggs in the National Press Club in Almaty. Kozlov says that attack too was part of the official reaction to his stated intention to run for president.