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Ex-Kazakh Official Convicted In Oppositionist's Murder Released

A Kazakh court has ordered the release of a former top official sentenced for organizing three high-profile murders.

The court in Astana said Erzhan Otembaev, the former administrative head of the Kazakh parliament, could be released on parole for "good behavior."

Otembaev was sentenced in 2006 to 20 years in jail for ordering the murders of Kazakh opposition leader Altynbek Sarsenbaiuly (aka Sarsenbaev) and two of his associates.

But in December 2013, Kazakh officials announced that new evidence showed the murders were organized by Rakhat Aliev, the former son-in-law of President Nursultan Nazarbaev, and former National Security Committee chief Alnur Musaev.

In February, Otembaev was retried and sentenced to 13 years in jail for organizing the murders.

The court also recommended investigations of Aliev and Musaev, who have been living in self-imposed exile in Europe since 2007.

Based on reporting by KazTAG and Interfax