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Former Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Sentenced

Alikbek Jekshenkulov

Alikbek Jekshenkulov

BISHKEK -- A Bishkek court has found former Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Alikbek Jekshenkulov guilty of financial abuse and sentenced him to a suspended term of five years in jail, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The court also banned Jekshenkulov from serving in any official or state posts for three years and put him on probation for three years. Before the court verdict was announced, Jekshenkulov said he was innocent and that the charges against him are politically motivated.

Jekshenkulov was initially charged in March 2009 with involvement in the murder of Turkish businessman Servet Cetin, who was killed in the northwestern city of Talas in 2007. That charge was later dropped.

Jekshenkulov served as foreign minister from 2005-07. After leaving the government he created the opposition For Justice movement.