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ASTANA — Kazakhstan’s Supreme Court has ordered Bolat Nazarbaev, the younger brother of the Central Asian nation’s former President Nursultan Nazarbaev, to return to the state an almost 32 percent stake he holds in the Almaty Heavy Machinery Factory (AZTM).

The court ruled on March 16 that Bolat Nazarbaev, who sold 31.9 percent of the industrial facility’s shares to a private company in 2009 but continued to control the factory’s operations, must regain the shares and return them to the state.

AZTM used to be a state property but was privatized in 1998 with 31.9 percent of its shares obtained by the private company Temir Kon. In 2007, Temir Kon sold the shares to Bolat Nazarbaev.

Last June, Kazakhstan’s Financial Monitoring Agency said Bolat Nazarbaev and his former wife, Maira Qurmanghalieva, were targeted by a lawsuit filed by the owners of the financial services company Karuan, who accused the two of illegally taking over the firm.

Bolat Nazarbaev, 69, fled Kazakhstan in the wake of anti-government protests in early January 2022 and his current whereabouts are unknown.

Nursultan Nazarbaev, 82, and his clan lost power and influence after the January protests that left at least 238 people dead, including 19 law enforcement officers, and thousands injured.

Nazarbaev resigned as president in 2019, picking longtime ally Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev as his successor. But he retained sweeping powers as the head of the Security Council, enjoying the powers as “elbasy” — the leader of the nation. Many of his relatives continued to hold important posts in the government, security agencies, and profitable energy groups.

In January 2022, protests that started over a fuel price hike spread across Kazakhstan because of discontent over the cronyism that had long plagued the country. Toqaev subsequently stripped Nazarbaev of the Security Council role, taking it over himself.

Last month, Toqaev annulled a law, depriving Nursultan Nazarbaev of the “elbasy” title and his immediate family members of legal immunity.

Since January 2022, several of Nazarbaev’s relatives and those close to the family have been pushed out of their positions or resigned.

In September, the former president’s nephew. Qairat Satybaldy, was sentenced to six years in prison on fraud and embezzlement charges.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

By kadmin