Sat, 07 Dec 2019

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz authorities have issued an arrest warrant in absentia for the former secretary of Kyrgyzstan's Defense Council, Busurmankul Tabaldiev, on corruption charges.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Karima Amankulova told RFE/RL on July 15 that Tabaldiev was added to a wanted list as his current whereabouts are unknown.

According to Amankulova, Tabaldiev is suspected of involvement in the "illegal early release" from prison of notorious crime boss Aziz Batukaev six years ago.

Since May, several former top Kyrgyz officials -- including a deputy prime minister, a health minister, and a prosecutor-general who were in office when Batukaev was granted released in 2013 -- have been arrested on similar charges.

Batukaev was released after being diagnosed with leukemia.

His diagnosis was later found to have been falsified.

Batukaev, an ethnic Chechen, was sentenced in 2006 to nearly 17 years in prison for his involvement in several serious crimes, including the murders of a Kyrgyz lawmaker and an Interior Ministry official.

After his release, Batukaev immediately left for Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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