Sunday, November 27, 2005

Kazakh widow makes bugging claims
By Ian MacWilliam BBC News, in Almaty
The widow of an opposition politician apparently murdered in Kazakhstan earlier this month has accused the authorities of bugging her house.
Zamanbek Nurkadilov's widow also said she feared the police were going to accuse her of killing her husband.
Mr Nurkadilov had accused the Kazakh president and his family of massive corruption.
His unexplained death in the run-up to Kazakhstan's presidential poll has cast a shadow over the election campaign.
Mr Nurkadilov's widow, Makpal Zhunusova, called a news conference in Almaty to display what she and her lawyer said was an illegal listening device, which she had found hidden in her house on Wednesday.
She said it had probably been planted the day before while police were searching her house.
The lawyer said the police apparently wanted to gather evidence illegally by eavesdropping on private conversation.
Suspicious death
Mr Nurkadilov was found dead in the house nearly two weeks ago with one bullet wound in his head and two in his chest.
The police have said they are investigating the case as either a suicide or murder.
But Ms Zhunusova, who is well known in Kazakhstan as a singer, said that suicide was out of the question because her husband had not been in a depressed mood.
She suggested that unnamed relatives of her husband might have been involved in his death.
Her lawyer has said the killing was connected with Mr Nurkadilov's political activity. A former minister, he was a close associate of the president, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
But last year he unexpectedly accused the president and his family members of massive corruption. Nurkadilov said he was gathering information to prove they had illegally acquired many state properties and enterprises.
The main opposition alliance, whose candidate is President Nazarbayev's chief electoral rival, has also said the killing was politically motivated.
Nurkadilov's violent death has thus become the main event of an otherwise unremarkable electoral campaign.
Story from BBC NEWS: 2005/11/24 16:44:06 GMT© BBC MMV


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