Kyrgyzstan to renew call for extradition of ex-president from Belarus

BISHKEK, July 7 (Xinhua) -- The newly sworn-in government of Kyrgyzstan will renew its request for the extradition of ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev from Belarus, Deputy Prime Minister Azimbek Beknazarov said Wednesday.

"Belarus earlier refused to extradite Bakiyev citing the fact that the (Kyrgyz) interim government was not legitimate. But we have recently held a referendum and now our President (Roza) Otunbayeva and state bodies, including the Prosecutor General's Office, are legitimate," Beknazarov told a news conference.

"We want to send the extradition request again," he said.

Bakiyev has been in Belarus since April this year. He fled Kyrgyzstan after a popular uprising there ended his rule.

The acting Kyrgyz authorities accused the former leader of corruption, saying he and his supporters were attempting to destabilize the situation in the south of the country.

Bakiyev, however, denied his alleged involvement in the unrest in southern Kyrgyzstan, blaming the interim government for not "mobilizing necessary resources and localizing the conflict."

A national referendum held on June 27 found that more than 90 percent of Kyrgyz voters supported a new constitution which was to create a parliamentary democracy in the country and give legitimacy to Otunbayeva's interim government.

At Wednesday's press conference, Beknazarov also said 100 suspects involved in the large-scale riots in southern Kyrgyzstan have been arrested and the government has filed law suits in 855 cases happening in the southern city of Osh and in the central-western province of Jalal-Abad.

According to official figures, 293 people were killed and some 1,900 others injured in the violence that tore apart Osh and nearby Jalal-Abad last month.


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