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Kazakh Uranium Magnate Charged With Corruption

Mukhtar Dzhakishev, the former head of Kazatomprom
ASTANA (Reuters) - Kazakh prosecutors have filed a criminal case against the Central Asian country's former uranium company boss, Mukhtar Dzhakishev, accusing him of theft and corruption.

Several senior Kazakh officials have been jailed in high-profile corruption cases over the last two years, and analysts say this masks an intensifying struggle within the political elite.

Charges of illegally selling uranium deposits that had previously caused concerns among foreign investors have not been included in the case and will be investigated separately, the Kazakh Prosecutor General's office said.

Dzhakishev, credited with making Kazakhstan a top global uranium producer while also running the state uranium firm Kazatomprom, earlier denied all charges against him.

"The investigation charges former Kazatomprom president Mukhtar Dzhakishev with theft by way of embezzling a state company's property," Nurdaulet Suindikov, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office, told reporters.

He said a total of 100 million tenge ($600,000) had been stolen from Kazatomprom.

He did not give a date for the trial.

Suindikov said Dzhakishev had also taken bribes from prospective suppliers to secure procurement tenders.

Dzhakishev, under arrest and in prison since May, could not be reached for comment.