Kyr­gyz politi­cian’s ar­rest stirs protest

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

BISHKEK, Kyr­gyzs­tan — Hun­dreds of peo­ple protested Sun­day in Kyr­gyzs­tan af­ter au­thor­i­ties de­tained a prom­i­nent op­po­si­tion leader on fraud and cor­rup­tion charges that his sup­port­ers say are po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated.

Omurbek Teke­bayev was ar­rested early Sun­day af­ter ar­riv­ing at the coun­try’s main air­port out­side Bishkek, the cap­i­tal, on a flight from Vi­enna.

About 300 peo­ple gath­ered in front of the State Com­mit­tee for Na­tional Se­cu­rity in Bishkek later in the day to call for Teke­bayev’s re­lease.

“The de­ten­tion of the fa­mous politi­cian Teke­bayev at night in the air­port looks like the de­ten­tion of a ter­ror­ist,” for­mer Kyr­gyz Pres­i­dent Roza Otun­bayeva told jour­nal­ists.

The State Com­mit­tee for Na­tional Se­cu­rity said the charges against Teke­bayev are re­lated to his time as deputy prime min­is­ter, when he is ac­cused of re­ceiv­ing a $1 mil­lion bribe from a Rus­sian busi­ness­man.

Teke­bayev, the leader of Kyr­gyzs­tan’s Ata-Meken party, has de­nied the charges and re­turned from abroad de­spite know­ing he could face de­ten­tion. Mem­bers of Ata-Meken at the protest said his ar­rest was il­le­gal be­cause of pro­ce­dural vi­o­la­tions.

Kyr­gyzs­tan has opened a string of crim­i­nal cases against op­po­si­tion fig­ures in re­cent months that crit­ics al­lege are po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.