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Trial Of Ousted Kyrgyz President's Brother Resumes In Bishkek

BISHKEK -- The trial of a brother of ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev in connection with ethnic clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan last year has resumed in Bishkek, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The charges against Akmat Bakiev include organizing mass disorder and violent attacks on law enforcement officials; extortion; illegal use of private land; illegal procurement and possession of weapons; illegal construction; and creating and participating in an illegal armed group during ethnic clashes in the south in May and June.

The interim government launched an extensive search for Akmat Bakiev after clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in the southern regions of Osh and Jalal-Abad in mid-June that left more than 400 people dead. He was arrested in Jalal-Abad on June 23.

Akmat Bakiev's trial started on December 15. His public defender Bubuaisha Arstanbekova urged the court today to release him under house arrest for the duration of the trial due to health problems. On December 15, the court rejected a similar request by Bakiev's lawyer, Ravshan Maksudov.

Kurmanbek Bakiev fled Kyrgyzstan in the wake of antigovernment protests in April. He is living in Belarus at the invitation of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

The ousted president and his other brother, Janysh, are being tried in absentia in connection with the deaths of nearly 90 people during the April protests.

Bakiev is also wanted in Kyrgyzstan for embezzlement and abuse of power.

Read in Kyrgyz here