Kazakh Senate Approves New Intelligence Chief
March 2, 2006 -- Kazakhstan's Senate today unanimously approved the personal security boss of President Nursultan Nazarbaev as the country's new intelligence chief.
Amangeldy Shabdarbaev replaces Nartai Dutbaev at the head the National Security Service (KNB).
Dutbaev resigned following the slaying of opposition leader Altynbek Sarsenbaev. Five officers from the KNB's elite Arystan (Lion) anti-terrorism unit were arrested over the killing.
Shabdarbaev is himself a former commander of the Arystan group.
The head of the Senate administration, Erzhan Utembaev, was arrested for allegedly ordering Sarsenbaev's death. His motives were personal, the Kazakh authorities say.
Opposition members differ, arguing that Sarsenbaev's murder was politically motivated.
(Kazinform, AP, Reuters)
Copyright (c) 2006. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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