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Trial Against Kazakh Doctors Suspended

Former Kazakh Health Minister Dosqaliev Zhaksylyk
Former Kazakh Health Minister Dosqaliev Zhaksylyk
ASTANA -- The criminal case against Kazakh doctors accused of falsely diagnosing ex-Health Minister Zhaqsylyq Dosqaliev as having suffered a stroke has been suspended, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Andrei Lukin, deputy chairman of Kazakhstan's financial police, said in Astana today that the criminal case has been suspended but the investigation is continuing.

Dosqaliev went on trial in Astana on May 19 on charges of abuse of office, embezzlement, bribe taking, and the illegal sale of real estate.

Kazakh financial police say they suspect Dosqaliev, 54, simulated a stroke after they interrogated him in September. Dosqaliev was hospitalized and later transferred to a pretrial detention center in Astana.

President Nursultan Nazarbaev dismissed him from his health minister post on October 8.

Several doctors who diagnosed Dosqaliev as having suffered a stroke were charged later that month with "using their professional position to obstruct the course of justice."

One of the doctors suspected of helping Dosqaliev secure the false diagnosis in an effort to escape justice, Aygul Zhetimkarynova, died unexpectedly after being hospitalized in October in the wake of the scandal.

The cause of death was officially given as a "massive tumor."

Lukin did not give any further explanation for the decision to suspend the criminal case against the doctors.

On May 27, Dosqaliev was transferred from the detention center under house arrest.

Read more in Kazakh here