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A Kazakh court sentenced a former economy minister to 24 years in prison this week for murdering his wife, in a case that rocked the Central Asian nation over the issues of domestic violence and the impunity of high-ranking officials, Reuters reported.

Kuandyk Bishimbayev, 44, was found guilty of the torture and murder of his wife, 31-year-old Saltanat Nukenova, last year.

Security camera footage showed that Bishimbayev severely beat his wife in a family restaurant in the capital last year. The former official admitted to the beating, but denied torturing or planning to kill her.

The court also sentenced his cousin, Bakhytzhan Bayzhanov, to four years in prison for helping Bishimbayev cover up the murder, according to the Voice of America.

The televised trial captivated Kazakhs, sparking outrage and prompting calls for stronger laws against domestic violence in the patriarchal nation.

Government data showed that the country records around 300 domestic violence complaints daily and more than 80 women die from domestic abuse every year.

Last month, parliament passed a new bill on domestic violence that President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev quickly signed into law. The new rules offer better protections to victims of domestic violence, such as tasking police to register and investigate such cases, even when not reported by the victim but by the media or social media.

Tokayev, who replaced his long-time predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2019, has vowed to create a fairer society, including better rights for women.

Observers said the trial also helped authorities send a message to high-ranking officials and the elite that they were no longer above the law.

Bishimbayev, who comes from an influential family, previously served as economy minister under Nazarbayev from May to December 2016. A court sentenced him to 10 years in prison on bribery and embezzlement charges in 2018, but he was released just over a year later following a mass amnesty issued by the government, Radio Free Europe noted.

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