Accessibility links

Breaking News

Kyrgyzstan: Ex-President's Daughter Says Akaev Family Not Corrupt

Former President Akaev is in Moscow, where he was granted asylum by President Putin (file photo) Bermet Akaeva, the 32-year-old daughter of ousted Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev, won a seat in parliament in February's flawed elections that sparked a popular revolt in Kyrgyzstan. Akaeva fled the country with the rest of her family late last month when the revolt ousted her father. She returned to Kyrgyzstan on 15 April. Akaeva gave an exclusive interview to RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service on 21 April.

Akaeva's return came just as the new government was forming a commission to look into allegations that the Akaev family owned or had a financial interest in many lucrative businesses in Kyrgyzstan. The government produced a list of these businesses today. Bermet's husband, Adil Toigonbaev, figured prominently on that list and officials announced he would be investigated.

Bermet denied in the interview that her husband was involved in any illegal business ventures.
"[My mother and father] are in Moscow; they have been recovering [from the shock of the revolution]. They will surely come back to Kyrgyzstan when the time is right."

"The Prosecutor-General's Office is summoning, and the National Security Service people are investigating this. Let them investigate. My husband was all the time clean. He was working within the framework of the law. If they look hard enough they [probably] can find something, but my husband didn't do anything illegal."

Akaeva also said the commission tasked with investigating the Akaev family's alleged fortune was really trying to disgrace her family.

"My father didn't have any businesses," she said. "Now they are talking about [rumors], about millions and billions [of dollars]. If I had millions and billions would I be living in such a [modest] flat? I believe time and history will show what was truth and what was a lie. I don't trust the commission to be objective because their task is just to destroy us. Now they are persecuting and firing our relatives from their positions. Even [some] members of the government, in official meetings, are saying we have to fire Akaev's relatives from their positions and destroy Akaev's businesses. That is why I don't trust the commission."

Akaeva also defended her father, saying he did some good things for Kyrgyzstan while he was president: "My father was president during a very difficult time in Kyrgyzstan. In 15 years there were some positive results. I have to say that. I don't agree that we [allegedly] have been living a worse life in a worse country."

There were allegations that Bermet and her brother Aydar won seats in parliament due largely to help from her father. Akaeva denied there was any vote rigging or any other special help to ease her and Aydar into parliament.

"They might say that, for sure, authorities helped me because I was the daughter of the president but this constituency [where I ran] was in the city," she said. "It was possible for anyone to monitor. International organizations especially could monitor [events in the constituency]. Even U.S. Ambassador Steve Young was monitoring my constituency personally. There was a record number of monitors in my constituency. That is why my election campaign was very open and transparent."

Concerning her mandate as a deputy, Akaeva said she was ready, along with her brother, to fulfill their duties as elected deputies in parliament.

"Certainly, me and my brother will work as deputies. If they do not revoke my mandate, surely, I will work for my voters."

As for her father and mother, Akaeva had this to say: "Now they are in Moscow; they have been recovering [from the shock of the revolution]. They will surely come back to Kyrgyzstan when the time is right."

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.