Kazakh Health Minister Feigned Heart Attack, News Service Says

Kazakh Health Minister Zhaksylyk Doskaliyev feigned a heart attack to avoid a criminal probe into allegations of abuse of office, Novosti-Kazakhstan reported today, citing Murat Zhumanbai, spokesman for the country’s financial police.

Investigators on Sept. 21 opened a probe into allegations that as head of a medical school, Doskaliyev illegally signed a contract with a construction company to build residential buildings on land owned by the school in exchange for two apartments and a house, the Kazakh news service reported.

After Doskaliyev was questioned by the financial police, he had a heart attack and was hospitalized, Novosti-Kazakhstan said. On Sept. 29, a court refused to approve an arrest warrant for Doskaliyev, citing his health, the news service said.

After failing in an attempt to flee Kazakhstan, Doskaliyev conspired with colleagues to simulate a heart attack, the news service said, citing Zhumanbai.

Almagul Abenova, a Health Ministry spokeswoman, didn’t answer repeated calls for comment during working hours today.

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