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Kazakh Woman Threatens Suicide Over Lost Investment

Kulzainat Abilova atop the crane
Kulzainat Abilova atop the crane
ASTANA -- A Kazakh woman who lost her money in a real estate project received some 25 million tenge ($170,000) after she threatened to commit suicide if her losses were not reimbursed, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Kulzainat Abilova climbed atop a construction crane in the capital, Astana, on May 16 and told authorities she would jump if the nearly $170,000 she had invested in a construction project run by the prime minister's father in the southern city of Shymkent was not returned to her.

Abilova said she had invested the money in a project led by the HAS-ER.KZ company. She said the company -- which is run by Kazhymkan Masimov, the father of Prime Minister Karim Masimov -- failed to finish the real estate project and that she wanted her money back.

The crane stands in Astana's prestigious Nur-Saya district, where many parliament deputies and their families live. A so-called "third party" paid
Abilova the money on May 17 that she had demanded and she climbed down from atop of the crane with the help of an emergency rescue team.

It is not clear who paid the money to Abilova. Astana-based human rights defender Talas Sagintaev, who was involed in the talks between police and Abilova, told RFE/RL on May 17 that it is likely the money was paid by the prime minister.