Former Tycoon Released Early From Kazakh Prison
The former head of Kazakhstan's state nuclear energy company has been released from prison after serving 11 years of his 14-year sentence on corruption charges. International human rights organizations had been urging Kazakh authorities to release Mukhtar Dzhakishev since his arrest in 2009, saying the charges were politically-motivated. Supporters greeted him on March 19 as he left a prison in the northeastern city of Semei. A Kazakh court granted an early release on March 3 after the former tycoon had complained of health issues. The court ruled that Dzhakishev will not be allowed to leave the country and will be on parole until his 14-year term is over. Some government critics believe that he was imprisoned because he was a close friend of Mukhtar Ablyazov, a self-exiled former banker and opposition politician, who has been living in the European Union since 2009, the year when Dzhakishev was arrested.