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Ex-Mayor Of Restive Kazakh Town Gets 10 Years In Jail

Oraq Sarbopeev, former mayor of Zhanaozen
Oraq Sarbopeev, former mayor of Zhanaozen
The former mayor of a western Kazakh town has been found guilty of abuse of office and corruption and sentenced to 10 years in jail.

Oraq Sarbopeev, former mayor of Zhanaozen, an area shaken over the past two years by labor and social unrest, was rearrested in August after a regional court of appeal overruled a previous court decision to acquit him.

Sarbopeev faced his first trial earlier this year when investigations into violent clashes between striking oil workers and police in Zhanaozen were launched.

Police shot 16 people during the clashes in December.

Authorities have sought to prosecute a number of local officials suspected of illegally draining oil companies of funds meant for employees.

Earlier this month, Sarbopeev's predecessor, Zhalghas Babakhanov, was sentenced to two years in jail for embezzling funds from an oil company during his time as Zhanaozen mayor between 1999 and 2009.

Based on reporting by KazTAG and Interfax