13 Jan 2023 10:22

Case against ex-President Akayev dismissed in Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK. Jan 13 (Interfax) - The criminal case opened against former Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev in connection with the Kumtor gold mine project has been dismissed, the Prosecutor General's Office of Kyrgyzstan told Interfax on Friday.

"The criminal case against Askar Akayev has been dismissed as the statute of limitations in this case has expired," it said.

As part of the criminal case opened into the development of the Kumtor deposit, Akayev was charged with complicity in abuse of power and negligence during the signing in 1992 of a general agreement with Cameco and the restructuring of the Kumtor project in 2003.

Kyrgyzstan's State Committee for National Security said earlier that the ex-president and several other former high-ranking officials had been charged with corruption over the signing of the Kumtor project general agreement.

Akayev, who fled abroad in 2005 after a change of power in Kyrgyzstan, visited Bishkek in August and December 2021. He was released after being interrogated by the National Security Committee.

According to the committee, Akayev pleaded guilty to all charges and actively cooperated with the investigation.

According to the Kyrgyz Prosecutor General's Office, certain officials and heads of JSC Kygyzaltyn "established solid illegal connections" with representatives of the Canadian company Cameco, Centerra Gold Inc., as well as Kumtor Operating Company LLC and Kumtor Gold Company between 1992 and 2019 and "concluded agreements on the development of the Kumtor mine deposit knowingly disadvantageous to Kyrgyzstan for the sake of material and other gains."