Accessibility links

Breaking News

Former Mayor Of Restive Kazakh Oil Town Sent To Jail

Former Zhanaozen Mayor Zhalghas Babakhanov sits in the court in July.
The former mayor of the town in the southwestern Kazakh city of Zhanaozen has been sentenced to two years in jail for abuse of office.

Prosecutors say Zhalghas Babakhanov is guilty of embezzling funds from an oil company during his time as mayor between 1999 and 2009.

Babakhanov was already out of office at the time of last year's massive strikes by local oil workers, which ended with 16 workers being shot dead by police in December 2011.

But state officials have sought to prosecute a number of local officials seen as illegally draining oil companies of funds meant for employees.

Babakhanov's successor, Oraq Sarbopeev, who served as Zhanaozen mayor until February of this year, is currently being held in detention and investigated for alleged bribe taking and abuse of office.

Based on reporting by KazTAG and Interfax