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Otunbaeva Allowed Ousted Kyrgyz President Bakiev To Leave

  • RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

Former Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbaeva

Former Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbaeva

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's former President Roza Otunbaeva says she allowed ousted leader Kurmanbek Bakiev to leave the country in 2010.

Speaking at a seminar in Bishkek on April 5, Otunbaeva said the decision was made in accordance with the advice of the U.S., Russian, and Kazakh presidents "to prevent civil war in the country."

Otunbaeva, who served as interim president from April 2010 to December 2011 said she takes full responsibility for her decision.

Bakiev fled Kyrgyzstan in April 2010 following mass antigovernment demonstrations in Bishkek.

He has been living in Belarus since then.

In February, a Bishkek court sentenced Bakiev to 24 years in prison and his brother, Janysh Bakiev, to life imprisonment in absentia after they had been convicted of being involved in a 2009 political assassination.

The Prosecutor-General's Office has repeatedly demanded Bakiev's extradition.
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