Ex-Kyrgyz president's brother to be tried in Bishkek

Ex-Kyrgyz president's brother to be tried in Bishkek

The brother of Kyrgyzstan's ousted president will be transferred to the capital, Bishkek, to face charges of being behind May riots in the country, the interior minister said on Thursday, RIA Novosti reported.

Akhmad Bakiyev was detained late on Wednesday in southern Kyrgyz city of Jalalabad as Kyrgyz police continue hunting for members of the inner circle of Kurmanbek Bakiyev, whose stronghold was in the south of the country. Several close relatives of the former president have been charged with corruption and involvement in the violence in the country.

"In the near future, he will be delivered to Bishkek for the investigation to be carried out," Kubatbek Baibolov said.

Akhmad Bakiyev went to ground in April amid violent anti-government protests in the former Soviet Central Asian republic, which forced Kurmanbek Bakiyev to leave the country with his immediate family and take refuge in Belarus.

Clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and minority Uzbeks broke out in Jalalabad in May, killing two people and injuring more than 70. Akhmad Bakiyev was put on the country's wanted list following the unrest.

Baibolov said Bakiyev did not put up any resistance when he was detained by police. A pistol, 75 ammunition cartridges, as well as a wig and false moustache were seized from Bakiyev, the interior minister said.

According to a statement issued on Thursday by the Interior Ministry, Bakiyev "began giving a confession as soon as he was questioned."

In mid-June, a second wave of interethnic riots in southern Kyrgyzstan claimed the lives of up to 300 people according to official figures. Officials acknowledge the real death toll may exceed 2,000.

Kyrgyzstan's interim government has repeatedly requested the extradition of the former president, who is suspected of orchestrating the riots. However, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has refused to extradite Bakiyev, whom he said he took under his "personal" protection.

The situation in Kyrgyzstan remains strained following the unrest. The country's authorities are looking for an international police mission to be sent to Kyrgyzstan to help prevent new violence and human right violations. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is to decide on the issue later on Thursday.

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