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Kazakh borderguard gets life for killing 14 colleagues and a game warden

December 11, 2012, 17:45 UTC+3

Vladislav Chelakh initially confessed to the murder but then disavowed his testimony

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ASTANA, December 11 (Itar-Tass) — Kazakhstan's military court on Tuesday sentenced border guard Vladislav Chelakh to life imprisonment for the murder of 14 colleagues and a game warden at the Arkankergen outpost in the east of the country. The verdict was read by presiding judge Erbol Akhmetzhanov.

"The court rules to find the defendant guilty, and sentence him to life imprisonment in a special regime penitentiary in view of the absence of mitigating circumstances," Akhmetzhanov said.

Chelakh was charged under nine articles of Kazakhstan’s penal code, including "murder of two or more persons," "stealing personal belongings," "stealing confidential documents, "stealing weapons," "desertion" and "illegal entering."

The defendant had waived jury trial at a preliminary hearing.

The bodies of 13 persons, including a game warden from a nearby hunting preserve, were found at the Arkhankergen post ravaged by fire in May. On June 1, the remains of two more servicemen were found at the scene.

Arkankergen is manned by 15 borderguards in summer time. Vladislav Chelakh, the only survivor initially confessed to the murder but then disavowed his testimony.

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