How the law changed after the murder of the minister’s wife in Kazakhstan

Last Updated on May 29, 2024 1:38 pm

Former Finance Minister of Kazakhstan Kuandik Bishimbayev (44) has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for the brutal murder of his wife Sultanat Nukenova. The Supreme Court of Kazakhstan sentenced him on May 13. Earlier, on November 8 of last year, Kuandik went to a hotel in the former capital Almaty with his wife. Sultanat died there after being beaten and tortured by her husband within a year of marriage.

The media BBC reported that during the trial of this murder, some CCTV footage was presented to the court. It is seen that Kuandik brutally beat his wife, resulting in her death. The hotel they stayed in belonged to a relative of Kuandik.

It is reported that Kuandik beat Sultanat in the morning of November 9 local time in a restaurant of the hotel. There was also evidence of the wife being kicked and dragged by the hair. But what happened next is not clear. However, Kuandik captured some moments of that time on his mobile.

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Some of the audio clips submitted to the court show that Kuandik is repeatedly insulting his wife. In another audio, he talks to an astrologer. But then his wife was unconscious. There were no cameras. At around 8pm, Quandik called an ambulance. By then his wife had died. It also comes out in the autopsy report.

The post-mortem report said that Sultanate suffered brain injuries due to beatings and injuries. 230 milliliters of clotted blood came out from the space between the surface of his brain and the skull. There are indications that he was strangled to death. The owner of the hotel where the murder took place was sentenced to four years in prison for covering up the incident. During the trial, he claimed, Kuandik told him to delete the footage.

Sultanate’s only brother, Aitbek Amangeldi, said his sister spent her childhood in the city of Pavlodar, bordering Russia. After school he went to Almaty. Sultanat worked as an astrologer before marriage. He was inclined towards this by reading the books he got from his grandmother. Sultanate helped women who were going through problems with family relations, marriage, children.

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Aitbek told the court that Kuandik wanted to meet his sister. But he did not rule. He then collected Sultanate’s phone number and sent small messages. Sultanat used to show it to his brother. Kuandik also expressed his desire to meet so that people would not believe what they wrote or said about him. The two were married within a month of meeting.

After the marriage, a dispute started between them. Sultanat used to show the picture of Kuandik hitting his brother. Kuandik forced his wife to quit work. Although Kuandik claimed in court, the killing was not intentional.

Meanwhile, despite the trial of Kuandik, there are hundreds of women murdered by their partners across Kazakhstan. According to the United Nations, one in every four cases of domestic violence in the country is brought to trial. Many women are afraid to open up about it.

According to the United Nations, 400 Kazakh women die each year from domestic violence. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, between 2018 and 2022, the number of calls to crisis centers dealing with domestic violence in the country increased by 141.8 percent.

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However, due to the direct showing of the Sultanate murder trial from the courtroom, great pressure was created on the government. Social media users started talking about it on various platforms. They also demanded to reform the Domestic Violence Act, where more than 150,000 people signed it.

Later, on April 15, Kazakh President Kassym Zomart Tokayev signed a bill. There are severe punishments for domestic violence. Also, in such cases, even if the victim does not file a complaint, others have the opportunity to file a case. However, the 2017 Act was decriminalized. And in the new Sultanate’s law it is considered a criminal offence.

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