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Kazakh Supreme Court Upholds Verdict Against Journalist

Ramazan Esergepov
Ramazan Esergepov
The Kazakh Supreme Court has ruled against an appeal by a journalist convicted of revealing state secrets, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Ramazan Esergepov, who was chief editor and owner of the independent weekly newspaper "Alma-Ata Info," was found guilty after publishing an article in November 2008 that he said revealed links between a businessman and the National Security Committee (KNB).

He was sentenced to three years in prison in August 2009.

Musatay Bektasov, the lawyer of businessman Sultan Makhmadov who was sentenced to seven years in jail in the same case, told RFE/RL that he will appeal to the Prosecutor-General's Office in order to have the entire case reviewed.

In January, a prison appeals commission in the southern town of Taraz, where Esergepov is serving his sentence, rejected Esergepov's request for early parole. Under Kazakh law, Esergepov has the right to be paroled after serving one-third of his prison term.

His supporters and human rights organizations say the case against him is politically motivated. His newspaper has closed down since his arrest.