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Kazakh Special Services Accuse Entrepreneur of Plotting Coup

Riot police officers detain demonstrators during a protest against President Nursultan Nazarbayev's government and the land reform it has proposed, in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan's special services said that they managed to thwart plans of local businessman Tokhtar Tuleshov’s to stage a coup d’etat, the Interfax news agency reported Monday.

“Since last year, Tuleshov has been actively preparing for a violent seizure of power,” said spokesman for the National Security Committee, Ruslan Karasev.

“Tuleshov’s plan was to create tensions within the country by organizing protests and riots,” Karasev claimed, adding that the resulting upheaval could have allowed the businessman to create an “alternative government.”

The special services have also detained several of Tuleshov’s alleged accomplices, including a former deputy prosecutor general and a former member of the constitutional council, Interfax reported.

Weapons and explosives were also found to be in Tuleshov’s possession during the course of the investigation, Interfax reported.

Tuleshov is also charged with drug possession and a number of serious crimes including kidnapping and deliberate destruction of property.

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