BISHKEK -- A court hearing has been held for a nephew of ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev convicted of involvement in unrest in southern Kyrgyzstan last year, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.
Sanjar Bakiev pleaded guilty to involvement in deadly riots in the city of Jalal-Abad in May, and was sentenced to 10 years in jail on November 2. He appealed the sentence, asking that it be reduced.
Sanjar Bakiev's public defender, Bubuaisha Arstanbekova, told RFE/RL that Jalal-Abad Oblast Governor Bektur Asanov did not appear at the January 11 hearing in the northern Chui Oblast court because he is in China. A representative from his office also did not attend the hearing.
In mid-May, groups allegedly associated with the former president temporarily seized, then were forced out of, the administration building in the southern city of Jalal-Abad. That incident was followed by unrest in Jalal-Abad the following week when demonstrators tried to storm a university. At least two people were killed in the fighting.
Sanjar Bakiev was charged with helping organize the earlier incident and with illegal possession of weapons.
The appeal is being held near Bishkek for security reasons. The hearings are scheduled to resume on January 17.
Former President Bakiev remains in Belarus, where he eventually fled after being ousted in April.Read in Kyrgyz here