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Jailed Kazakh Uranium Tycoon's Second Trial Starts

A screen grab from former Kazatomprom head Mukhtar Dzhakishev's interview for "Vremya" newspaper from prison in July 2009.
ASTANA -- Hearings in a case against the jailed former chief of Kazakhstan's Atomic Agency (KazAtomProm) have begun in Astana, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Journalists and relatives of Mukhtar Dzhakishev were not allowed in the courtroom. Dzhakishev's lawyer, Pallada Tepsaeva, told journalists she cannot divulge any information about the new charges he is facing.

But she said there is no evidence to prove his guilt.

Dzhakishev's wife, Dzhamilya Dzhakisheva, told RFE/RL she has not seen the documents listing the new charges against him but that they might be connected with the discovery of new uranium fields. She did not elaborate.

Meanwhile, some media outlets in Kazakhstan reported last month that the new charges against Dzhakishev may be connected with alleged large-scale fraud and illegally taking property that did not belong to him.

The case was investigated by Kazakhstan's Committee for National Security (KNB).

Dzhakishev was found guilty on March 12 of corruption and sentenced to 14 years in jail. He pleaded not guilty. His supporters and relatives say both of the cases against him are politically motivated.

Read more in Kazakh here and in Russian here