Ex-president of Kyrgyzstan sentenced to life in absentia
BISHKEK, July 25 (RAPSI) – A court in Kyrgyzstan on Friday handed down a guilty verdict in absentia to former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and sentenced him to life imprisonment for helping mastermind the murder of protesters during the 2010 coup.
The verdicts of high-ranking officials found guilty of the death of protesters in Bishkek’s central square on April 7, 2010 are being delivered at the Military Tribunal of the Bishkek Garrison. The demonstration, in which 77 people were killed and over 300 injured, led to the deposition of Bakiyev.
The trial lasted in Bishkek for over three years. But it was mostly special forces and state guard personnel who were present, because the majority of the defendants, including high-raking officials, have fled the country.
The presiding judge, Damir Onolbekov, said ex-President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and his brother Janysh, who headed the Kyrgyz security services, were found guilty of masterminding murder, of attempted murder and abuse of power. They have been sentenced to life in prison and the confiscation of their property.
Ex-Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov received a life sentence. Murat Sutalinov, former head of Kyrgyzstan’s National Security Service, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to murder 77 people and for the attempted murder of 306 protesters.
Kurmanbek Bakiyev and his younger brother Janysh fled to Belarus after the April 2010 uprising. The two brothers were later granted political asylum by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
In February 2013, a military court in Kyrgyzstan sentenced the former president in absentia to 24 years in a high-security prison for abuse of office.
His brother Janysh was sentenced in November 2013 to life imprisonment for masterminding the theft of 22 million som (over $500,000) from the Djalal-Abad branch of the Kyrgyz National Bank during the overthrow of President Askar Akayev on March 24, 2005.