Kazakh uranium boss trial to proceed

Dec. 10. UPI. ASTANA

Kazakh uranium boss trial to proceedA criminal case against Mukhtar Dzhakishev, the former head of Kazakhstan’s state uranium firm Kazatomprom, will proceed to court.

Interfax-Kazakhstan informatsionnoe agentsvo reported Thursday that Adil Shayakhmetov, the new head of the country’s National Security Committee, told journalists, “These issues will be brought (to trial) in line with a procedure set out in the criminal procedural code, purely within the legal framework.”

Prosecutor’s office spokesman Nurdaulet Suindikov commented, “The investigation charges former Kazatomprom president Mukhtar Dzhakishev with theft by way of embezzling a state company’s property.” Suindikov added that Dzhakishev would be charged with embezzling 100 million tenge ($600,000) from Kazatomprom.

Dzhakishev, who was earlier credited with making Kazakhstan a top global uranium producer while overseeing Kazatomprom, has denied all charges against him.

Kazakhstan contains the world’s second-largest uranium reserves, estimated at 1.5 million tons. The country in 2006 produced 5,279 tons of uranium, but as part of its plans to increase output boosted uranium output in January-September to 9,535 tons.