6 Dec 2019 17:06

Ex-Kyrgyz PM Isakov called corruption charges brought against him President Jeenbekov's revenge

BISHKEK. Dec 6 (Interfax) - Former Kyrgyz prime minister Sapar Isakov, charged with corruption during the modernization of the Bishkek Heat and Power Plant, said the criminal case brought against him was fabricated on President Sooronbai Jeenbekov's orders.

"My dismissal, the passage of a vote of no confidence, my arrest and the charges brought against me are Sooronbai Jeenbekov's revenge for Raimbek Matraimov, whom I fired as deputy chairman of the Kyrgyz State Customs Service," Isakov said in his final plea at the trial on Friday.

"To my great regret, our former associate has chosen political reprisals as a method of political rivalry with opponents. The incumbent authorities encourage those who lie, betray, and play the hypocrite. However, they don't understand that these proceedings have damaged our bilateral relations with China," he said.

The court failed to listen to two key witnesses, namely a representative of the Chinese company TBEA and an expert who made calculations during the Bishkek Heat and Power Plant's modernization in 2015, Isakov said.

"If their testimony had been attached to the case, they would have automatically disproved the charges. The witnesses feared being held responsible for false testimony and therefore didn't appear in court," he said.

Isakov said he was sure the court had already drawn up a guilty verdict beforehand.

"The judicial proceedings have proven my innocence, but hardly anyone cares. The truth will nevertheless prevail. Sooner or later, those who fabricated this case will have to answer for it," he said.

It had been reported earlier that the prosecution asked the court to sentence Isakov to 15 years in prison.