Kyrgyz prosecutors probe land deal by former PM
BISHKEK, November 1 (RIA Novosti) - Prosecutors in the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan said Friday they are investigating a potentially illegal land deal by a former prime minister and leading coalition government politician.
The General Prosecutor's office accuses Ar-Namys party leader Felix Kulov of overseeing the unauthorized transfer of property belonging to the national guard to a private company in 2006, when he was serving as head of government.
Kulov has denied the accusations, dismissing them as an attempt to sideline him from the turbulent former Soviet republic's political scene.
Kulov rose to power in tandem with President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who took the helm of impoverished Kyrgyzstan after the overthrow in 2005 of the previous leader, Askar Akayev.
Bakiyev was in turn also overthrown in 2010.
The investigation announced Friday follows a request by the parliamentary committee for defense and security to look into why residential blocks had been built on land designated as being strategically sensitive.
Several members of the committee, including Ismail Isakov, who served a defense minister under Kulov, said ultimate responsibility for the land transfer lay with Kulov.
Kulov has said he has no memory of approving the land transfer. "This is a political game, an intrigue," he said.