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Noted Kazakh Journalist Faces Trial On Libel Charges


Kazakh journalist Guzyal Baidalinova (right) and her lawyer Inessa Kisileva confer in Almaly district court in December.

Noted Kazakh journalist Guzyal Baidalinova is on trial in Almaty on libel charges.

Hearings in her case began at the Almaly district court on May 5.

Baidalinova, the owner and editor of the Nakanune.kz online news portal, was arrested in December after one of Kazakhstan's largest banks, Kazkommertzbank, filed a lawsuit against her accusing her of "organization and publishing false information."

Baidalinova rejected the charges, calling them politically motivated.

Nakanune.kz is known for its independence and for publishing criticism of local authorities.

Another journalist who works for the news website, Yulia Kozlova, was acquitted in February on drug charges after police raided her house.

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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Radio Azattyq has been an important source of information for people in Kazakhstan for decades. In 2009, Azattyq won the prestigious 2009 Online Journalism Award for "standing in defense of citizen’s rights to seek and receive information."

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