Former president Atambayev in pretrial detention until 26 October

Atambaev surrendered to police on 8 August after a two-day stand-off between his supporters and law enforcement. The former leader refused to respond to three subpoenas for crimes committed during his presidency. He is now also accused of murder and attempted coup.

 


Bishkek (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev's pretrial detention has been prolonged until 26 October.

The Birinchi Mai District Court in Bishkek today approved a request by investigators to extend his detention. Atambaev's lawyer, Zamir Jooshev, said he will appeal the decision.

Atambaev surrendered to the police on 8 August after a two-day violent stand-off between his supporters and law enforcement at his residence in Koy-Tash (south of the capital).

The standoff resulted in the death of a top security officer and more than 170 people injured, including 79 security agents.

The move to detain the social-democratic leader was sparked by his refusal to obey three subpoenas summoning him to the Interior Ministry for questioning.

Kyrgyz authorities had initially said that Atambaev faced five counts of criminally for abuse of power, corruption and embezzlement during his presidency (2011-2017).

The Kyrgyz parliament stripped Mr Atambayev of his immunity in June, after his successor Sooronbai Jeenbekov took office.

On 13 August, the General Prosecutor said Mr Atambayev had been charged with "unlawfully carrying a weapon", "murdering a special forces officer", "taking hostages" and "organising mass unrest".

The head of the National Security Services, Orozbek Opumbayev, said the former leader tried to "organise a coup d’état".

Kyrgyzstan is a predominantly country with population of 6 million people, most of whom speak Kyrgyz, a Turkic language.

Mining is its main resource and source of development; its GDP is almost equal to that of Cameroon and Kenya.

There is widespread dissatisfaction with the country's political and economic elite, seen as corrupt and far from the people. All foreign investors, starting with the Chinese, are seen invaders and exploiters.

As one of the most unstable countries in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan could become a hotbed of regional unrest.

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