7 Sep 2018 21:57

Kyrgyz prosecutors verifying allegations on withdrawal of up to $300 mln by ex-President Bakiyev

BISHKEK. Sept 7 (Interfax) - The Kyrgyz Prosecutor General's Office has started verifying statements by businessman Yevgeny Gurevich, referred to by local media outlets as financial advisor to former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, alleging that Bakiyev's relatives have withdrawn hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars from the country.

Several directorates of the Prosecutor General's Office are working to verify Gurevich's statements to the press, the office told Interfax on Friday.

"Yevgeny Gurevich's arguments are being verified, including information on the withdrawal of money from Kyrgyzstan, a visit by prosecution officials and other statements he made," it said.

Gurevich said earlier in an interview with the Kyrgyz service of Radio Liberty that Bakiyev's family had withdrawn $200 million to $300 million from the country and that he had evidence proving this.

Gurevich said he was open to cooperation with the Kyrgyz government. He said officials from the Kyrgyz Prosecutor General's Office visited and talked to him at a U.S. prison in 2015, where he was serving time, but there have been no more meetings since then.

Following the April 2010 revolution, which resulted in changing government in the country, President Bakiyev, his relatives and close associates fled the country. The property belonging to Bakiyev's family and entourage was nationalized.

Kyrgyzstan has sentenced Kurmanbek Bakiyev's son Maxim Bakiyev to life in absentia for corruption and money laundering and declared him internationally wanted. According to the media, Bakiyev is currently residing in London.

Gurevich, who founded an investment bank together with Maxim Bakiyev, was convicted in absentia to 25 years in prison for siphoning off money from Kyrgyzstan's Asia Universal Bank.

Gurevich has lately served time for fraud at a U.S. prison in Alabana and was recently freed.