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Prominent Kazakh Actor Detained In Embezzlement Case After Criticizing Minister

Cutlure Minister Arystanbek Mukhamediuly
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.

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