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Court Overturns Financial Conviction Of Former Kyrgyz Foreign Minister

Alikbek Jekshenkulov

Alikbek Jekshenkulov

BISHKEK -- A Bishkek court has overturned the conviction of financial mismanagement against former Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Alikbek Jekshenkulov, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The Bishkek city court made the ruling on May 20, dismissing a verdict handed down on March 16 by a district court that had found Jekshenkulov guilty of financial abuse and sentenced him to a suspended term of five years in jail.

Jekshenkulov was initially charged in March 2009 with complicity in the murder of Turkish businessman Servet Cetin in the northwestern city of Talas in 2007. The district court dropped those charges in March "due to a lack of evidence."

The Bishkek city court revised that formulation to read "acquit in the absence of a [crime]."

Jekshenkulov served as foreign minister from 2005-2007. After leaving the government he created the opposition For Justice movement.

During the court hearing in March, Jekshenkulov denied any wrongdoing and called the charges against him politically motivated.