Sat, Jan 05, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Trial begins for murder of Olympic figure skater Ten

AFP, ALMATY, Kazakhstan

The trial of two men accused of murdering a male figure skater who won bronze at the Sochi Olympics in 2014 has begun in Kazakhstan, two local news agencies reported on Thursday.

Arman Kudaibergenov and Nuraly Kiyasov pleaded not guilty to Denis Ten’s murder at the first hearing in a court in Almaty, news agencies reported.

Ten, a 25-year-old Kazakh ice-skating star, was fatally stabbed in July after apprehending men who had attempted to steal mirrors from his car.

The prosecution on Thursday told how one of the men held Ten, while another “stabbed Denis Ten twice in the femoral artery,” according to Tengri News.

While denying the murder charge, Kudaibergenov admitted to theft. Kiyasov, who the prosecution says is the one who stabbed Ten, pleaded innocent to both the murder and theft charges.

Also in court was Zhanar Tolybayeva, a woman charged by the prosecution as an accomplice to the theft and failing to report a crime. She pleaded not guilty.

“I did not know that my acquaintances had intentions of murder,” Tolybayeva was quoted as saying in her court testimony by state news agency Kazinform.

Ten’s murder caused an outpouring of grief in Kazakhstan and stirred anger toward police accused of protecting petty criminals. It also led to unsuccessful calls for the minister of the interior’s resignation.

Ten was of Korean origin and his great-great-grandfather was a Korean-born independence fighter, General Min Keung-ho.

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