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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Jailed Kazakh Nuclear Chief Hits YouTube

ALMATY, Kazakhstan — Kazakhstan’s Prosecutor General’s Office on Thursday ordered a probe into video clips on YouTube of Mukhtar Dzhakishev, the jailed former head of state-run nuclear company Kazatomprom, answering investigators’ questions.

Prosecutors ordered the National Security Committee to conduct an internal investigation into the videos, said Nurdaulet Suindykov, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office. The authenticity of the videos will be determined by the investigation, he said.

Dzhakishev was ousted as Kazatomprom chief in May and later arrested on suspicion of embezzling state shares in uranium deposits, including one co-owned by Canada’s Uranium One, by transferring them to offshore firms, the security committee said in May.

Under Dzhakishev, Kazatomprom planned to make Kazakhstan the world’s largest uranium producer. The country’s uranium reserves account for 15 percent of the world’s total.

In the seven clips, Dzhakishev said his removal from Kazatomprom facilitated an alleged Russian strategy to block the company’s plan to supply nuclear fuel to Japan, leaving Kazakhstan as a raw materials supplier.

Nurlan Beisekeyev, a lawyer for Dzhakishev, said his client informed him that the interrogation in the videos occurred in the first few months after his arrest. A security committee spokesman was unavailable for comment.