20 Jun 2018 20:45

Ex-Kyrgyz PM Satybaldiyev faces charges, arrested until end of investigation - Kyrgyz National Security Committee

BISHKEK. June 20 (Interfax) - Former Kyrgyz Prime Minister Zhantoro Satybaldiyev has been charged with complicity in a crime and corruption, and he will remain in custody until the end of the investigation, the press service of the Kyrgyz National Security Committee told Interfax on Wednesday.

Satybaldiyev was charged as part of a criminal case over corrupt practices during an upgrade of the Bishkek combined heat and power plant, the press service said.

"On June 20, the National Security Committee charged former Prime Minister Satybaldiyev with complicity in a crime and corruption during the upgrade of the the Bishkek combined heat and power plant. Bishkek's Pervomaisky District Court imposed a restrictive measure in the form of placement into custody in the committee's pretrial detention facility until the end of the investigation," the press service said.

Satybaldiyev is the second former prime minister detained in the case. The power plant was upgraded by the Chinese company TBEA through a $386-million loan provided by China.

He served as prime minister from September 2011 to March 2014; the agreement with TBEA was signed then.

The Kyrgyz parliament observed evidence of corruption in the use of the loan and ordered the Prosecutor General's Office to evaluate the actions of officials who had signed the agreement and conducted negotiations on the project. Former Prime Minister Sapar Isakov was among them, and he was detained on June 5. Former Energy Minister Osmonbek Artykbayev was detained a few days later.

The criminal case of corrupt practices was opened after an accident in January. A large number of residential buildings, facilities, and establishments in Bishkek lost power and hot water as a result, during a period of freezing temperatures.

Several heads of Kyrgyz energy companies were detained in the course of the investigation of the accident.