“It’s only my fault and only my burden.” Kuandyk Bishimbayev made his last speech in court

Juliette Morgan
“It’s only my fault and only my burden.” Kuandyk Bishimbayev made his last speech in court

In the trial for the murder of Saltanat Nukenova, the defendants made the last word. First, the former Minister of Economy Kuandyk Bishimbayev, accused of murder with particular cruelty, spoke first, followed by his cousin Bakhytzhan Baizhanov, who is accused of concealing the crime.

Kuandyk Bishimbayev stated that a real campaign was launched against him in the media and social networks to incite hatred and denigrate him and his family. In his opinion, any juror already has prejudices against him, but he still decided to go to an open trial in order to convey “to at least ten people the truth about that tragic evening” and about his relationship with his murdered wife.

He asked forgiveness from Saltanat Nukenova’s relatives. "I apologize to my parents, relatives, friends and children. My mistakes have darkened old age, brought shame, grief, anxiety and fear into their lives. They are not to blame for anything. It is only my fault and this is only my burden. Together with “I know for sure that I have never wished, do not wish, and will never wish death on anyone,” he said. Bishimbayev also noted that he was charged without any evidence and only under pressure from the media. “I was charged with murder with particular cruelty literally a couple of days after my arrest, without any grounds, examinations, or conclusions confirming this. The investigation succumbed to pressure from social networks and the media, where false information about a leaky eye and holes in the face had already appeared [Nukenova] and so on. And from that moment the entire investigation immediately took an accusatory turn.”

In addition, reading his last word from a sheet of paper, Kuandyk Bishimbayev quoted Goebbels: “I don’t want to quote, but I will say. There was such a notorious minister of propaganda in Nazi Germany in the 30s. His famous expression was: “The more terrible ours will be,” a lie, the easier it is for people to believe it. “That’s how it works in my business.”

He said the jury would have treated him differently if he had not been a minister. In his opinion, the “social hatred” towards him was caused by his past “state services”, so there were a lot of lies and slander on social networks, and the accusation was made without convincing evidence and asked whether one could be confident in such accusations with such dubious evidence. He called on jurors to be fair and not give in to media pressure, which he believes was cleverly orchestrated and paid to confuse the trial. He concluded his speech with assurances that he condemns himself in a way that no one could imagine.

Bakhytzhan Baizhanov also made the last speech. In it, he listed what he was charged with: deleting recordings from video cameras, delivering clothes, and ended with a question to the jury: “Did I know, Baizhanov, that at that time a serious crime had been committed - causing the death of Saltanat? I can swear: I didn't know. If I had known, I wouldn't have done any of these things."

He assured the jury that if he knew what exactly he was doing, he would not forgive himself, a question neither investigators nor prosecutors could answer.

Let us remind you that on the night of May 8-9, Saltanat Nukenova was brutally murdered; her husband, former Minister of Economy of Kazakhstan Kuandyk Bishimbayev, was detained on suspicion of murder. During the judicial investigation, videos were found on the defendant’s phone in which he mocked, humiliated and beat his wife on the eve of the murder.

On the night of the tragedy, he tormented her for several hours, and after she stopped showing signs of life, he called not the emergency services, but a clairvoyant friend, and also tried to arrange a meeting with a girl providing escort services. The case of Saltanat Nukenova became resonant and against its backdrop, Kazakhstan adopted a law that protects victims of domestic violence.

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