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Kazakhs pull plug on Borat

Sacha Baron Cohen offline in Almaty

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The powers that be in Kazakhstan have pulled the plug on Sacha Baron Cohen's www.borat.kz - home of the Brit comedian's alter ego Borat - so "he can't badmouth Kazakhstan under the .kz domain name", as a Kazakh IT industry spokesman delicately put it to Reuters.

Borat is, as UK readers know, a "boorish, sexist and racist Kazakh television reporter" who has infuriated the Kazakh authorities with his less than flattering comments about the former Soviet republic. The government last month threatened to sue Cohen after his appearence as Borat at the MTV Europe Music Awards during which he "described shooting dogs for fun and said his wife could not leave Kazakhstan as she was a woman".

Cohen responded to the threat by posting a Borat reply on www.borat.kz saying: "I have no connection to Mr Cohen and fully support my government's position to sue this Jew." He added: "Please, captain of industry, I invite you to come to Kazakhstan, where we have incredible natural resources, hard working labor and some of the cleanest prostitutes in all of Central Asia."

In the end, though, the Association of Kazakh IT Companies - the government-appointed body which admisters the .kz TLD - was able to terminate Borat for apparently breaking rules which state that all .kz domains must maintain two servers in the country. Cohen also registered false names for the administrators of www.borat.kz, the association claims. ®

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