A forest ranger has been detained over a mass murder in Ile Alatau National Park in southeastern Kazakhstan, the Kazakh Interior Ministry said on Monday.
A total of 11 bodies were found in the Ile Alatau National Park in southeastern Kazakhstan on August 13. At first six bodies with stab wounds were found, then another five bodies were later discovered. Among those killed was a well-known forest ranger and fighter against poachers Panayot Zakharopolu and members of his family.
“Alexei Shkilyov, a forest ranger from a burned out area, has been arrested. The prosecutor has extended the term of his arrest to up to two months,” the lawyer of the forest ranger, Ermurat Mukanov, said.
The lawyer added that two burned rifles, one a small-caliber rifle, the other a regular barrel gun with submachine gun cartridge, were found in Shkilyov's home.
“Experts said that the gun can be used for firing if the mainspring is changed. And on these grounds the ranger was arrested. First he was arrested for seven days allegedly for hooliganism, then for another three days before charged and then the prosecutor extended his detention for another two months,” the lawyer said.
According to the lawyer, “nobody could prove that the rifles belonged to Shkilyov.”
“The initial investigation did not even bother to check if these rifles could belong to the forest ranger’s guests killed and burned in the house. It was enough to have the testimony of two people, one of whom had been previously convicted and who had said that he saw these rifles at Shkilyov's,” Mukanov said.