14 Jan 2020 12:15

Former Kyrgyz president Atambayev charged with 8 counts over August unrest - lawyer

BISHKEK. Jan 14 (Interfax) - Former Kyrgyz president Almazbek Atambayev has been charged with eight crimes as part of the investigation opened into the unrest of August 7-8 in the village of Koi-Tash near the country's capital, Bishkek, Atambayev's lawyer Sergei Slesarev told Interfax on Tuesday.

"Atambayev has been charged with murder, attempted murder, organizing murder, organizing mass unrest, hostage-taking, illegal turnover of weapons, threats or violence against a representative of the authorities, and obstruction of an investigation under the Criminal Code of Kyrgyzstan," Slesarev said.

The defense team will have to read the case files, which consist of 50 volumes, before the case is sent to the Prosecutor's Office, he said.

"It is difficult to say when court sessions in the August unrest case will start, because the case includes a large amount of materials that need to be studied - 50 volumes," Slesarev said.

According to earlier reports, the Investigative Service of the Kyrgyz Interior Ministry completed its inquiry into the events in Koi-Tash on August 7-8.

On August 7, the special operations forces of Kyrgyzstan's State Committee for National Security attempted to detain Atambayev in the village of Koi-Tash 20 kilometers from the country's capital of Bishkek, leading to clashes with the ex-president's supporters. One special forces officer died from a gunshot wound. Six special forces officers were taken hostage and released the next day. The clashes continued on August 8 when the special forces undertook another attempt to detain the former president. Following this, Atambayev surrendered to the law enforcement agencies and was arrested.

The court seized Atambayev's property and that of his family members. As many as 225 people, among them 91 Interior Ministry officers and 40 officers of the Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security, were injured in the August 7-8 events. Additionally, Atambayev was charged with corruption and illegal enrichment. The ex-president is also the main suspect in the case opened into the illegal release of crime boss Aziz Batukayev in 2013. The Pervomaisky District Court of Bishkek has ruled that all court sessions in the Batukayev case will be held at the headquarters of the central office of the Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security.