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Belarus Refuses To Extradite Former Kyrgyz President


Former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev in Minsk

Former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev in Minsk

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz officials say Belarus has officially refused to extradite former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev to Kyrgyzstan, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Azimbek Beknazarov, a deputy chairman of Kyrgyzstan's interim government, told RFE/RL that Belarusian officials explained their refusal on the grounds that Bishkek's official extradition request was "politically motivated."

Bakiev fled Bishkek on April 7 amid mass protests and has been living in Belarus at the invitation of Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka since mid-April.

Kyrgyzstan made its extradition request to Belarusian officials in May.

Bakiev is wanted in Kyrgyzstan for mass murder in the deaths of more than 80 people during clashes between antigovernment demonstrators and security forces on April 7.
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