Guilty of murder and torture: Kuandyk Bishimbayev sentenced to 24 years in prison

Kuandyk Bishimbayev
Kuandyk Bishimbayev Photo credit: Diana Bizhanova/Kazinform

The trial of ex-economy minister Kuandyk Bishimbayev ended today, May 13. He was convicted guilty of torture and murder of his wife Saltanat Nukenova and sentenced to 24 years in prison. Bakhytzhan Baizhanov, was sentenced to 4 years in prison, Kazinform News Agency correspondent reports from the courtroom.

Kuandyk Bishimbayev will serve his sentence in a maximum security institution. Bishimbayev was charged under clause 1, part 2, Art. 110 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (torture) and paragraph 5 of Part 2 of Art. 99 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (murder).

Judge Aizhan Kulbayeva
Judge Aizhan Kulbayeva Photo credit: Diana Bizhanova/ Kazinform

The second defendant, Bakhytzhan Baizhanov, was found guilty of concealing a crime. He will serve his 4-year sentence in a medium security colony. The sanction of Article 110, Part 2, Clause 1 of the Criminal Code provides for imprisonment for a term of 4 to 7 years. He disagreed with this decision implying that an innocent man was sentenced to “For what?” as Baizhanov asked the judge.

Bakhytzhan Baizhanov
Bakhytzhan Baizhanov Photo credit: Diana Bizhanova/Kazinform

Court took into account the presence of minor children as mitigating circumstances against defendants Bishimbayev and Baizhanov. Also, the court recognized a dangerous recidivism of crimes, as well as the commission of a criminal offense while intoxicated, as a circumstance aggravating Bishimbayev’s criminal liability and punishment. Kazinform News Agency reminds that his first arrest was in 2017, and then a conviction for bribery on a particularly large scale: $2 million. He was pardoned by the first president, his sentence was reduced from 10 to 4 years. Bishimbayev’s second conviction, presented today, makes him a dangerous recidivist.

Kuandyk Bishimbayev's case
Photo credit: Diana Bizhanova/Kazinform

Judge Aizhan Kulbayeva came to a resolution by the court with the participation of a jury. Among the asked questions were: Has it been proven that, under the circumstances described in the first question, the victim Nukenova was consciously and intentionally caused death by inflicting targeted numerous blows to the head? Has it been proven that the defendant Bishimbayev committed this act? Is the defendant Bishimbayev guilty of committing this act?

Kuandyk Bishimbayev's case
Photo credit: Diana Bizhanova/ Kazinform

The guilt of the defendants was proven in full in court. The jury returned their verdict. The issue of the amount of punishment was also decided by the jury and the judge by open voting, by a majority vote. The jury also decided on the sentence for the second defendant.

Aitbek Amangeldi
Aitbek Amangeldi talks to media after the end of trial Photo credit: Diana Bizhanova/Kazinform

Aitbek Amangeldi, Saltanat Nukenova’s brother, agreed with the sentencing, stating that, “This was one of the options in which we waited for this term. In principle, we will stop at this point. It's enough. In 24 years he will already be 68 years old. It's practically lifelong.” As the verdict was announced he, Saltanat’s family and lawyers couldn’t hide their emotions, tearfully celebrating the decision and thanking the jury afterwards.

Saltanat's family, friends and lawyers
Saltanat's family, friends and lawyers Photo credit: Diana Bizhanova/Kazinform

Bishimbayev will have an opportunity for an early release after 16 years of his sentence said Alma Yessymova, judge-coordinator for media relations: “For a particularly serious crime, for which Bishimbayev is now convicted, the period when he has the right to file such a petition is after 2/3 of the punishment, this is somewhere in 2039–2040.” However, in order for this to happen an agreement from the victim’s side is needed as confirmed by prosecutor Aizhan Aimaganova.

The court’s verdict has not yet entered into legal force.

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