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Lawyers In Kyrgyz Ex-President's Trial Demand New Judge


Judge Damir Onolbekov has had to face accusations of incompetence.

Judge Damir Onolbekov has had to face accusations of incompetence.

BISHKEK -- Lawyers of defendants in the high-profile trial of former Kyrgyz top officials -- including ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiev -- plan to ask the Supreme Court to replace the judge presiding over the trial, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Supreme Court spokesman Baktybek Rysaliev told RFE/RL that the two lawyers -- Kubanychbek Tashbaltaev and Yevgeny Petrov -- plan to appeal a Military Court ruling on November 1, which rejected their request to have Judge Damir Onolbekov replaced.

Tashbaltaev argues that Onolbekov is incompetent, while Petrov was angered when Onolbekov turned down a request that his client -- former state security service deputy commander Daniyar Dunganov -- be examined by doctors due to his poor health.

In April, the Supreme Court rejected a similar request by Bakiev's lawyer to have Onolbekov replaced.

Bakiev and 27 other former top officials went on trial in November.

They are accused of either having fired upon or given the command to open fire on unarmed protesters in Bishkek during antigovernment protests in April 2010 that led to Bakiev's ouster.

Nearly 90 people were killed and some 400 wounded, of whom 12 subsequently died of their injuries.

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 self-imposed exile in Belarus.

Read more in Kyrgyz here
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