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Prosecutor Seeks Lengthy Jail Terms For Kazakh Journalist Union Head, Son


Seitqazy Mataev has been under house arrest on embezzlement and tax-evasion charges since February.

Prosecutors in Astana have called for lengthy prison sentences for the head of the Kazakh Journalists Union and his son.

On September 27, prosecutor Erzhan Quraqbaev asked the judge to sentence Seitqazy Mataev to six years and eight months in prison, and his son, Aset, the director of the KazTAG news agency, to six years.

Seitqazy Mataev has been under house arrest on embezzlement and tax-evasion charges since February. His son was placed under house arrest for alleged embezzlement in March. Their trial began on August 23.

Both deny the charges, and rights groups have said Mataev is being prosecuted on trumped-up charges in response to his work as head of the journalists union.

The trial has been delayed several times because of the 61-year-old Seitqazy Mataev's health issues.

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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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