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Former Kazakh National Security Chief On Trial

Nartai Dutbaev, the former chairman of the National Security Committee of Kazakhstan (file photo)

ASTANA -- The trial of former Kazakh National Security Committee (KNB) chief Nartai Dutbaev began in the capital, Astana, on July 17.

Dutbaev, who headed the KNB in 2001-2006, and two former subordinates are charged with disclosing state secrets and abuse of the office.

Officials of Kazakhstan's Military Court said the trial is being held behind closed doors as it involves classified materials.

Dutbaev and former subordinates Nurlan Khasen and Erlan Nurtaev were arrested in December. Authorities have not described the nature of the secrets at issue or named any country they are accused of disclosing them to.

Dutbaev resigned in February 2006 after officers of the KNB's elite Arystan unit were accused -- and later convicted -- of involvement in kidnapping and killing opposition leader Altynbek Sarsenbaiuly and his two assistants in Almaty.

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