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Date set for Kazakhstan opposition leader's trial

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Aug. 11, 2012, 1:37 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

Supporters of Kazakhstan opposition leader Vladimir Kozlov say his trial on charges of seeking to overthrow the Central Asian nation's government is set to begin next week.
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Associated Press

Associated Press

ALMATY, Kazakhstan — Supporters of Kazakhstan opposition leader Vladimir Kozlov say his trial on charges of seeking to overthrow the Central Asian nation's government is set to begin next week.

Kozlov's wife, Aliya Turusbekova, said Saturday that she believed authorities would seek a quick trial over the August holiday period to minimize public scrutiny. She said the first hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

Kozlov's Alga party says the case is aimed at eliminating opposition to the former Soviet republic's authoritarian regime. It has expressed fears that if Kozlov is convicted on charges that include inciting social unrest and heading a criminal gang, he could face over a decade behind bars.

Kazakhstan has undertaken costly public relations exercises to cast itself as a modernizing nation, but lack of political freedoms has undermined that effort.

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