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Thursday, 8 June, 2000, 12:03 GMT 13:03 UK
'Separatists' jailed in Kazakhstan

A court in eastern Kazakhstan has handed out long prison sentences to a group of Russians found guilty of plotting a separatist coup.

The alleged ring leader of the group, Viktor Kazimirchuk, was jailed for eighteen years, and nine others received sentences of between ten and seventeen years. Four others were given suspended sentences and released.

The group was arrested last November in the city of Ust Kamenogorsk, which is close to the Russian border and has a majority ethnic Russian population.

The men say they're innocent and that they're planning to appeal.

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