A former minister tortured and killed his wife: 24 years in prison

A former minister tortured and killed his wife: 24 years in prison
A former minister tortured and killed his wife: 24 years in prison

A Kazakh court on Monday sentenced a former Economy Minister to 24 years in prison accused of torturing and killing his wife, a case that shocked this Central Asian country and publicized the taboo subject of domestic violence.

Aijan Kulbayeva, a judge at a court in Astana, the capital, found the accused, Kuandyk Bishimbayev, guilty of the “particularly cruel murder” of Saltanat Nukenova and “torture”, during the verdict broadcast on Internet.

The judge, to support her decision, considered that the ex-minister presented “a dangerous risk of recidivism”.

In the glass cage reserved for the defendants, Mr. Bishimbayev, with a clean-shaven face, bowed his head during the verdict and made no statement when the judge asked him if he had any questions.

Another defendant, Bakhytjan Baijanov, was sentenced to four years in prison for helping the ex-minister try to hide his crime, according to the same Source.

The death of Saltanat Noukenova, killed at the age of 31 in mid-November in a restaurant in Astana, caused a shock wave in Kazakhstan, a country of 20 million inhabitants, where society remains largely patriarchal.

This affair pushed President Kassym-Jomart Tokaïev to react, in particular by strengthening the legislative arsenal against domestic violence.

A public poster campaign calling on women to no longer fear filing complaints is also underway, and law enforcement has announced an increase in arrests.

According to the authorities, more than 80 feminicides are recorded annually in the country, with the United Nations citing the figure at 400.

Mr. Bishimbayev, who was also an advisor to former President Nursultan Nazarbayev, had already been sentenced to 10 years in prison for corruption before being released on parole in 2019.

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