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Ethnic Uzbeks' Trials In Kyrgyzstan Postponed After Disruptions

KARA-SUU/NOOKEN -- Two separate trials of ethnic Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan have been postponed by the judges after disruptions, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The trial of 10 ethnic Uzbeks in the southern Kyrgyz village of Kara-Suu was stopped by the judge after the defendants' lawyer was attacked by relatives of the victims.

The defendants are charged with the murder of Kara-Suu district police chief Adylbek Sultanov and his driver, Uran Shamurzaev, in the village of Nariman during the deadly clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in June.

Relatives of the two men attacked the defendants' lawyer and forced him out of the court building after he stated that his clients were physically abused while in detention. Judge Bakyt Usupbekov then postponed the trial.

Investigators of the case were expected to testify at the hearings on September 30. Usupbekov told RFE/RL that it is not clear when the trial will resume.

And in the village of Nooken, the trial of several ethnic Uzbeks from the southern district of Suzak was cancelled after relatives of the victims and the defendants fought each other near the court building. Police stopped the fight but the trial was postponed.

The trial was in regard to the so-called "Sanpa event," when on June 13 dozens of ethnic Uzbeks gathered outside of Jalal-Abad near a cotton-processing plant and reportedly opened fire at passing vehicles. Cars were stopped and the ethnic Kyrgyz passengers allegedly beaten and killed. A total of 16 people died and two others are still missing.

Almost 400 people were killed and many hundreds more wounded during the violent ethnic clashes in the southern Kyrgyz regions of Osh and Jalal-Abad from June 10-14.