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Former Kazakh Prime Minister Akhmetov To Be Released From Prison Early

Former Kazakh Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov (file photo)

A Kazakh court has ruled that former Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov, who was convicted on corruption charges in 2015, can be released from prison later this month.

The Qaraghandy regional court announced on September 6 that Akhmetov's remaining prison term will be replaced by "limitation of freedom" -- a suspended sentence with parole-like restrictions.

The ruling comes into force on September 21.

Akhmetov, 59, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in December 2015, after a high-profile corruption trial.

He initially pleaded not guilty, but his prison term was cut by two years after he acknowledged guilt and asked for clemency in 2016.

Akhmetov's prison term was again shortened in January, by one year and seven months, under an amnesty enacted by President Nursultan Nazarbaev in December.

Akhmetov, a native of the central Qaraghandy region, was prime minister from September 2012 to April 2014.

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