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Kazakh Opposition Weekly Fined $200,000 For Libel

"Taszharghan" has had many legal problems, as well as general harrassment.
The weekly newspaper "Taszharghan" has been ordered by an Almaty court to pay a $200,000 fine for libel, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The city court on February 26 upheld a previous verdict by a district court that found the opposition paper and journalist Almaz Kusherbaev guilty of libel, but decided to increase the fine from 300,000 tenges to 3 million tenges ($200,000).

Kazakh parliament member Romin Madinov had accused "Taszharghan" of insulting his dignity in December.

The newspaper has had to change its name several times and reregister after receiving similar verdicts in the past.

Yermurat Bapi, former editor in chief and currently "reader in chief" of "Taszharghan," told RFE/RL's Kazakh Service that the verdict is politically motivated.