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Kazakh Prosecutors Seek 13-Year Prison Sentence For Former Kyrgyz Lawmaker

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Former Kyrgyz deputy Damirbek Asylbek-Uulu during a court hearing in Almaty late last year.

BISHKEK -- Kazakh prosecutors have asked a court in Almaty to convict former Kyrgyz lawmaker Damirbek Asylbek-Uulu of smuggling and sentence him to 13 years in prison.

At a hearing on April 3, prosecutors also called for a 15-year prison sentence for defendant Esbol Zhappasov, a Kazakh citizen, and prison terms ranging from seven to 12 years for 10 other defendants in the high-profile case.

Asylbek-Uulu was detained in Kazakhstan in February 2018 along with dozens of suspects including two other Kyrgyz nationals.

He was charged with creating a transnational criminal group and smuggling illegal goods from China to Kazakhstan and Russia -- charges his lawyer, Asqar Baimuratov, contends were fabricated.

Asylbek-Uulu and the 11 other defendants went on trial on October 19.

NOTE: This article has been amended to correct the length of the prison term that Kazakh prosecutors are seeking for Damirbek Asylbek-Uulu
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