Accessibility links

Breaking News

Kazakhstan's Former Prime Minister Released From Prison Early

Former Kazakh Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov in 2012
Former Kazakh Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov in 2012

QARAGHANDY, Kazakhstan -- Former Kazakh Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov, who was convicted on corruption charges in 2015, was released from prison on September 21.

Akhmetov, 59, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in December 2015 after a high-profile corruption trial.

He initially pleaded not guilty, but his prison term was cut by two years after he acknowledged guilt and asked for clemency in 2016.

Akhmetov's prison term was again shortened in January, by one year and seven months, under an amnesty enacted by President Nursultan Nazarbaev in December.

On September 6, the Qaraghandy regional court in central Kazakhstan ruled that Akhmetov's remaining prison term will be replaced by "limitation of freedom," a suspended sentence with parolelike restrictions.

The ruling took effect on September 21.

Akhmetov, a native of the central Qaraghandy region, was prime minister from September 2012 to April 2014.

  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service offers informed and accurate reporting in the Kazakh and Russian languages about issues that matter in Kazakhstan, while providing a dynamic platform for audience engagement and the free exchange of news and ideas.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.