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Prominent Kazakh Actor Detained In Embezzlement Case After Criticizing Minister

  • RFE/RL

Cutlure Minister Arystanbek Mukhamediuly

Kazakh authorities have detained prominent actor and film director Tunghyshbai Zhamanqulov on suspicion of embezzlement, shortly after accusing a minister of corruption.

The Interior Ministry says Zhamanqulov was detained on November 2 on suspicion of embezzling some 70 million tenges ($205,000) allocated for shooting a movie.

Zhamanqulov's detention came weeks after he publicly alleged that Culture Minister Arystanbek Mukhamediuly was involved in corruption activities.

He also supported several young women who had accused Mukhamediuly of sexual harassment -- an allegation rejected by the minister.

Zhamanqulov, 68, starred in 33 movies and became well known by playing a main character in the popular satire show Tamasha in the 1970s.