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Former Kazakh Banker Gets Light Sentence After Return

Margulan Seisembaev
Margulan Seisembaev
ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- The former chairman of Kazakhstan's Alliance Bank has been sentenced to two years on probation for the illegal use of bank funds, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Margulan Seisembaev's lawyer, Pallada Tepsaeva, told RFE/RL about the verdict today.

Tepsaeva said Seisembaev was originally charged with Article 182 of the criminal code of "causing damage to property by deception or breach of trust." She said the Almaty court acquitted Seisembaev of this charge.

Tepsaeva added that her client is not guilty of the charge he was convicted of but she and her client are satisfied with the verdict.

Tepsaeva said Seisembaev lives in Almaty and she hopes Seisembaev will help Kazakhstan reform its criminal code.

In October 2009, the Kazakh financial police issued an arrest warrant in absentia for Seisembaev and his brother, Erlan Seisembaev, and declared an international search for them.

The brothers were charged in absentia with embezzlement of $115 million.

Seisembaev returned to Kazakhstan from a brief exile at the end of October 2010.

A few weeks later in Almaty, he assured President Nursultan Nazarbaev of his loyalty and called upon other Kazakh political refugees to follow his example.

Seisembaev said he has no links to Rakhat Aliev, the fugitive former son-in-law of Nazarbaev, or to Mukhtar Ablyazov, the former BTA Bank chairman who is also sought by Kazakh officials.