Eight Sentenced On Terrorism Charges In Kazakhstan

By RFE/RL's Kazakh Service
June 05, 2013

ATYRAU, Kazakhstan -- Eight men have been convicted on terrorism-related charges in Kazakhstan's western city of Atyrau on June 5.

Seven of the defendants were sentenced to prison terms between 18 and 23 years.

They were convicted on charges of terrorism, kidnapping, murder, car theft, burglary, and the illegal possession and distribution of weapons.

The eighth defendant was found guilty of not reporting the group's existence to police.

He received a one-year suspended jail term.

The suspects' trial began last month.

They were arrested in Atyrau between December 2012 and January 2013.

Judge Gulnar Kazhenova said the group planned to travel to Syria to fight alongside antigovernment forces.

Cities and towns in western Kazakhstan have made headlines in recent months following security operations in the region targeting Islamic radicals

With reporting by Interfax