Court Jails Former Minister For 24 Years Over Wife’s Murder

A Supreme court in Kazakhstan has sentenced a former economy minister to 24 years imprisonment for torturing and murdering his wife.

Kuandyk Bishimbayev, 44, was found guilty and sentenced accordingly on Monday.

The Minister’s widely watched trial exemplified the President’s promise to strengthen women’s rights.

Surveillance footage played during the trial showed Bishimbayev repeatedly punching and kicking his wife, 31-year-old Saltanat Nukenova, and dragging her by her hair, near naked, into the VIP room of a restaurant owned by his family in Astana.

Nukenova laid still in a pool of her own blood while her husband called a fortune teller who assured him his wife was still alive.

When an ambulance finally arrived 12 hours later, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

The prosecution counsel submitted evidence showing videos on Bishimbayev’s mobile phone in which he insulted and humiliated the visibly bruised and bloodied Nukenova in the hours before she passed out on November 9 last year.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has said he wants to build a fairer society including improved rights for women.

The case has helped rally public support behind a law criminalising domestic violence, which parliament passed last month.

During the trial, Bishimbayev admitted to beating his wife, but said some of her injuries were self-inflicted.

He denied torturing or planning to murder her.

Bishimbayev served as the country’s economy minister from May to December 2016.

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