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Kazakhstan: Mass-Murder Appeal Starts

Vladislav Chelakh in court in December
A military court in Almaty has started hearings into the appeal of a Kazakh border guard sentenced to life in prison in a high-profile mass-murder case.

Vladislav Chelakh was convicted in December for killing 14 fellow border guards and a forest ranger.

In May 2012, the 15 men were found dead at a burned-down outpost near the Kazakh-Chinese border.

Chelakh initially admitted to killing all 15 people but later recanted.

He said his confession was obtained under pressure and claimed the post was attacked.

On February 4, the deputy commander of the Shonzha border post brigade along the Kazakh-Chinese border, Captain M. Qadyralinov, committed suicide.

Last week, the chief of the Border Guard Service Academy in Almaty, Talghat Esetov, shot himself in his office.

Based on reporting by and KazTAG