Karim Masimov, the former chief of Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee, was taken into custody on treason charges, the committee said on Saturday.

The committee said that a pre-trial investigation was opened into him and unnamed others on Thursday on suspicion of high treason after the Central Asian nation was hit by violent protests.

“The former committee chair, KK Masimov and others were arrested on the same day on suspicion of committing this crime and placed into a pre-trial detention facility,” the statement read. (ANI/Sputnik)