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Kazakh pastor jailed on shaky legal groundcomment (0)

February 17, 2014

Retired Presbyterian Pastor Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev was given a four-year suspended prison term Feb. 17 in Kazakhstan's capital Astana. He was convicted of harming the health of a church member despite that church member repeatedly insisting to state authorities that her health was not harmed. Kashkumbayev also has to pay his alleged victim large moral damages of $10,800. 

"In my experience as a lawyer, this is one of the strangest cases I have seen in terms of legality", Pastor Kashkumbayev's lawyer Nurlan Beysekeyev said after the verdict was handed down orally. "It was not just strange, but from the standpoint of the law, all types of violations occurred, when the case was opened, when it was being investigated and during the trial."

Kashkumbayev will appeal against the verdict. 

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