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Former Kazakh Prime Minister's Pretrial House Arrest Prolonged

A Kazakh court has extended the pretrial house arrest for former Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov.

The court in the central city of Qaraghandy ruled on January 8 that Akhmetov, who is facing corruption charges, must stay under house arrest until February 18.

Akhmetov, 56, a native of Qaraghandy region, served as prime minister between September 2012 and April 2014. He was placed under house arrest in November and charged with "embezzlement and misuse of the state budget in significant amounts."

Akhmetov was appointed defense minister in April last year but resigned in October.

Akhmetov's resignation was officially presented as "his own decision."

It came weeks after investigators detained the governor of the Qaraghandy region, Bauyrzhan Abdishev, the mayor of the city of Qaraghandy, Meiram Smagulov, and several other officials on corruption charges.

Based on reporting by KazTAG and Kazinform