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Kazakh Court Shortens Jailed Ex-Prime Minister's Prison Term

A Kazakh court has shortened the prison term handed to jailed former Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov.

The Qaraghandy regional court on March 14 cut Akhmetov's prison term from 10 to eight years in jail.

Akhmetov, 57, who was sentenced in December on corruption charges, initially pleaded not guilty.

He later pleaded guilty in the hope of a lenient sentence.

In February, more than a dozen protesters rallied in the Kazakh capital, Astana, demanding Akhmetov's immediate release.

Akhmetov is a native of the central Qaraghandy region. He served as prime minister between September 2012 and April 2014.

Several former Kazakh officials have faced prosecution on suspicion of graft in recent years, with some sentenced to long prison terms.

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