WORLD BRIEFING / KAZAKHSTAN

Times Wire Reports

Kazakhstan's highest court refused to overturn a prison sentence for a newspaper editor in a case that has drawn widespread international condemnation.

Ramazan Yesergepov was arrested in January and accused of revealing state secrets. His arrest came after he published correspondence in the small-circulation weekly Alma-Ata Info that appeared to show collusion in corruption between a Kazakh businessman and the National Security Committee, the successor agency to the KGB.

Yesergepov was sentenced Saturday to three years in prison, a move tarnishing the ex-Soviet nation's democratic credentials as it prepares to assume the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

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