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Journalists Barred From Attending Trial Of Kyrgyz Official's Son


Isa Omurkulov (file photo)

Isa Omurkulov (file photo)

BISHKEK -- Journalists have been barred from attending the trial of the Bishkek mayor's son for vehicular manslaughter, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Supreme Court press secretary Baktybek Rysaliev told RFE/RL that the defendant, Azamat Omurkulov, asked Judge Almaz Kalpaev not to admit journalists to the courtroom, as their presence constituted "psycho-social pressure on him."

Rysaliev said the judge granted that request on November 16.

The trial started in the northern town of Tokmok on November 4, but was postponed to November 15 because the defendant was reportedly in the hospital.

Omurkulov, who is the son of Bishkek Mayor Isa Omurkulov, was driving an SUV that collided with a car near the Dunlarov Bridge near Tokmok on the highway from Bishkek to the resort region Issyk-Kul in mid-August.

The driver of the car and two young passengers were killed in the crash. Azamat Omurkulov was also injured.

Isa Omurkulov told RFE/RL at the time that if his son was guilty, "he will be accountable in front of Almighty God and the law."

Isa Omurkulov is a member of President-elect Almazbek Atambaev's Social Democratic Party.

Investigators say Azamat Omurkulov, 29, caused the accident. He has been charged with vehicular manslaughter as a result of violating traffic regulations.

He was initially asked not to leave Bishkek while the investigation was under way. He was later placed under house arrest.

Read more in Kyrgyz here
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