Bishkek, 27 June 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The appeal's trial of Krygyz member of parliament Azimbek Beknazarov started today in a court in the southern town of Toktogul. Beknazarov is seeking to have overturned last month's conviction on charges of abuse of office while serving as an investigator in the Djalalabad prosecutor's office. Beknazarov appeared in court today after previously refusing to attend due to a last-minute change of venue and insufficient notification of that change.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Beknazarov's supporters are gathered in Djalalabad and outside Kyrgyzstan's second city, Osh, awaiting the outcome of the appeal.
Demonstrations supporting Beknazarov in the southern Aksy Raion turned violent in March when police fired on protesters killing five people.
The country's Legislative Assembly is meeting in Bishkek to discuss the situation today.