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The case of Saltanat Nukenova: the ex-minister of Kazakhstan is on trial for the murder of his wife

In Kazakhstan, the trial of Kuandik Bishimbayev, the former minister of national economy, who is accused of murdering his wife, Saltanat Nukenova, continues. The case caused a great resonance, so we tell you the main facts.

According to the investigation, Kuandyk Bishimbayev beat and strangled the woman until she died.

In Kazakhstan, the trial of Kuandik Bishimbayev, the former minister of national economy, who is accused of murdering his wife, Saltanat Nukenova, continues. The case caused a great resonance, so we tell you the main facts.

Murder of Saltanat Nukenova

The woman died on November 9, 2023. On that day, Saltanat Nukenova and Bishimbayev went to a concert by Dima Bilan, after which they went to the Bau restaurant. There, the couple had a conflict.

 

According to the investigation, in the lobby of the restaurant, the ex-minister inflicted a “series of crushing blows” on his wife’s head with his fists. The woman fell to the floor, where the man continued to kick her. Saltanat tried to hide in one of the restaurant’s VIP booths, but Bishimbayev kicked down the door, beat her again, and began strangling her. After that, the woman fainted and died.

Bishimbayev himself claims that he and his wife were alone in the booth. Saltanat allegedly threw the jewelry given by her husband into the toilet, and when he went out to smoke, she locked herself in a cubicle. Bishimbayev pounded on the door with his fists, after which his wife let him in. According to the ex-minister, Saltanat shouted at him and tore his shirt. After that, Bishimbayev pushed her, she allegedly hit her head on the toilet, and then fell again and “hit her face on the tiled floor.”

According to the accused, the woman then went down to the underground parking lot, but they never went home, but returned to the restaurant. There, Bishimbayev punched Saltanat four times in the face, and when she fell, he kicked her.

According to the man, after that the woman lay down on the sofa in the booth, and he lay down next to him and fell asleep. In the morning, Bishimbayev called his cousin Bakhitzhan Baizhanov, who was the director of the center where the restaurant is located. The ex-minister claims that Saltanat was still alive at that time, but he could not wake her up. The man made the second attempt at about 13:00, but in vain.

After that, Bishimbayev asked Baizhanov to dismiss the restaurant staff, delete the video recordings from the cameras and take Saltanat’s phone home, stopping at two more places. The man knew that the woman’s brother was tracking her geolocation.

The last time Bishimbayev tried to wake up Saltanat was around 6:30 p.m. However, the woman did not answer and the men called doctors, who pronounced her dead.

The couple met in August 2022, and in December they “got married”, although they did not officially register their marriage. Saltanat’s friends say that they had seen bruises on her before, and she explained that she had quarreled with her husband.

The prosecution claims in court that Bishimbayev was “obsessively jealous”, controlled his wife’s phone calls, forbade her to work and systematically beat her.

“Obsessively jealous, Bishimbayev showed Nukenova pornography and asked if she had been filmed there,” the prosecutor said.

The case of the ex-minister is being investigated under two articles of the Criminal Code “Murder committed with particular cruelty” and “Torture”.

His brother Baizhanov is accused of concealing a crime and failing to report a reliably known serious crime. On the side of the murdered Saltanat is her brother, Aitbek Amangeldi. He published footage from the restaurantʼs video cameras, in which Bishimbayev beats a woman.

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