Former President Of Kyrgyzstan Sentenced To 11 Years In Prison

Former President Of Kyrgyzstan Sentenced To 11 Years In Prison

A Bishkek court on Tuesday sentenced former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev to 11 years and two months in prison on corruption charges. 

The judges declared proven that, exercising the maximum political authority of that small former Central Asian Soviet republic, he organized the release from prison of a well-known mafia boss.

Atambayev, who began his term in 2011 and left office in 2017, still has other court dates for other corruption charges, in addition to murder, hostage-taking and riot organization charges.

In 2013, authorities allowed gangster boss Aziz Batukáyev to be released from prison. The reason was humanitarian, since he was diagnosed with acute leukemia. Once free, he fled to Chechnya.

After the release, an audit was carried out by the Police, which found no violation and gave its approval.
In 2019, and after several disagreements between the former president and the new government of Kyrgyzstan, the investigation that reached the courts was resumed. 

The judges ended by accusing 19 people, including former President Atambayev, several doctors and laboratory technicians who made the diagnosis, as well as officials from the prison service. Prosecutors had asked for 15 years in prison for the former president.

Atambáyev was arrested on August 7, 2019. But to take him into custody it was necessary to send the special-forces. Along with a group of his followers, the former president barricaded himself at his residence in Koi-Tash, on the outskirts of Bishkek.

The police had to storm the residence. But the first attempt was repelled. As a consequence 130 people were injured, of which 109 had to be hospitalized. A member of the special-forces died. The authorities then sent some 2,000 officers for a new assault, after which Atambáyev had to yield.

That death is part of the accusations that are pending for Atambayev. Those of kidnapping and public disorders are also part of the incidents of that month of August.

In addition, the head of the Security Services, Orozbek Opumbáyev, accused him of "trying to organize a coup."
It also carries a previous accusation of corruption, related to the reconstruction of a power plant near Bishkek.

Kyrgyzstan, a small country of 6.3 million people, has undergone two revolutions in less than two decades, leading to exile those who held power, Askar Akáev, who lost it in 2005 and today lives in Russia, and Kurmanbek Bakiev, in 2010 and resident in Belarus. Atambáyev, 63, was the first president to leave office peacefully. 

However, it did not take long to confront his successor, Sooronbay Jeenbekov, despite the fact that they both belonged to the same political formation, the Social Democratic Party.

Last year Jeenbekov signed a law that allows criminal prosecution of former heads of state. Subsequently, the Supreme Council (the Kyrgyz parliament) withdrew the immunity that Atambáyev enjoyed as a former president before the accusations of corruption and influence peddling that the Attorney General wielded.

So he decided to take refuge behind his followers in a decision that did not prevent them from taking him to court. The first trial against Atambáyev began last November and has been held behind closed doors.

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