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Bakiev Lawyer Loses Bid To Replace Prosecutors At Trial

Former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev

Former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's Military Court has turned down a request by the lawyer of ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiev to change the prosecutors at her client's trial in absentia, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Supreme Court press secretary Baktybek Rysaliev told RFE/RL that the decision was made on June 20.

Last week, the trial was adjourned after Bakiev's lawyer Irina Kamarda officially requested that the state prosecutors participating in the hearings be replaced on the grounds that they are biased.

Bakiev and 27 of his former associates are on trial over the deaths of nearly 90 people in the popular uprising that swept him from power in April last year.

The defendants are accused of either having fired upon or given the command to open fire on unarmed demonstrators in Bishkek during the antigovernment protests.

Many of the defendants are jailed or under house arrest, except for Bakiev and several others -- most of them his close relatives -- who are being tried in absentia.

Bakiev is currently living in Belarus at the invitation of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

The trial began in November, but was adjourned several times following unruly scenes in which some relatives of those killed threatened the defendants, their lawyers, and family members.

No date for the trial's resumption has been announced.

Read more in Kyrgyz here