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Kyrgyzstan: Legal Battle Heats Up Over Akayev's Finances

  • Bruce Pannier

http://gdb.rferl.org/CB80056F-DCAD-42DA-B4EC-CC8DAC3AF00C_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/CB80056F-DCAD-42DA-B4EC-CC8DAC3AF00C_mw800_mh600.jpg Ousted Kyrgyz leader Askar Akaev It wasn't long after ousted Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev fled to Russia in late March that lawmakers began investigating his finances. Specifically, parliamentarians wanted to know if Akaev had any business interests, and if so, how he had gotten the money to fund them. Kyrgyzstan's acting prosecutor-general is due to travel to Moscow soon to question the former president about his financial holdings. But the ousted leader looks set to launch a legal battle of his own. His attorney traveled in late May to Bishkek, where he hinted that Akaev may be filing lawsuits of his own, targeting members of Kyrgyzstan's new interim government. RFE/RL looks at what is shaping up to be a massive legal battle.

Prague, 3 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz authorities have armed themselves with a list of suspects and a Western lawyer.

Acting Prosecutor-General Azimbek Beknazarov gave the details this week.

“In Vienna I signed an agreement with a lawyer, Mr. Lieberman," Beknazarov said. "He will conduct all the affairs of the Kyrgyz government outside Kyrgyzstan. We gave him a list of more than 100 people and asked him to find any money [they might have] outside the country. President Akayev and his family were on this list.”

So far, the parliamentary commission investigating Akaev's finances has identified some 180 businesses and enterprises with suspected links to the ousted president.

The head of the commission, acting Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov, described Akaev to lawmakers as a "mafia boss" and a "thief," and said many of his relatives appeared likewise involved in shady dealings.
So far, the parliamentary commission investigating Akaev's finances has identified some 180 businesses and enterprises with suspected links to the ousted president.


"What is 'Aian Hotels?' Its owner is 'State Development.' The owner of State Development is Kashkaraev, the cousin of [former first lady] Mairam Duishenovna," Usenov said. "Then there is 'Aides Group LTD,' owned by Junusova. Junusova is Kashkaryev's wife."

(Editor's note: Kashkaraev's and Junusova's first names are not available.)

Usenov accused Akaev of establishing a number of presidential funds and funneling millions of dollars through them.

The same day that Usenov was addressing parliament, Akaev’s Russian legal team, led by Maksim Maksimovich, was in Bishkek.

Maksimovich gave a press conference and said Akaev might file a suit against Usenov for his slanderous claims.

"He [Usenov] said he fully supports the view that Askar Akaev is officially 'a thief by law and a bribe-taker,'" Maksimovich said.

Maksimovich accused Usenov of having no proof to back up his allegations. Usenov, he warned, "must either prove his words in court or apologize."

Maksimovich also said the deal Akaev made in early April to voluntarily resign as president guaranteed Akaev would not face criminal or administrative charges, or be arrested, detained, or questioned.

The Russian attorney also said that because interim authorities appear to have violated the agreement, Akaev could still technically be considered the president of Kyrgyzstan.

Maksimovich also demanded that all of Akaev’s property be returned to the former president. Akaev’s archives, books, and medical documents were returned that day.

Akaev has also reportedly retained the services of two U.S-based law firms, in an indication he intends to battle the new Kyrgyz authorities in court.

(Janyl Chytyrbayeva and Venera Djumatayeva of RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service contributed to this report.)
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