Costly grain

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Posted on: 
16 Jun 2010

In early 2008 the price of grain in Kazakhstan was rising, and journalist Almas Kusherbaev wrote an article in a local newspaper in which he judged the reason was that producers could get a better return abroad than at home. His argument was supported by data and analysis. The article also mentioned in this connection a company, Agrocentr, which controls a major part of the grain market and which is headed by a senator, Romin Madinov. In August that year Madinov sued Kuzerbaev for libel, demanding damages of 300 million tenge (about US$2.5 million) and was awarded US$250 000. Through the local office of the UNDP, Kusherbaev approached the MLDI, which quickly found a lawyer to represent him. The case is currently before the UN Human Rights Committee.