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Former Kyrgyz Premier Wanted For Alleged Crimes

Former Prime Minister Tanaev (file photo) 6 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyzstan's acting prosecutor-general today said he has issued an international arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Nikolai Tanaev, whom he accused of illegally transferring state funds to a private business run by his son.

Prosecutor-General Azimbek Beknazarov said he believes Tanaev is hiding in Russia, and that a request for his extradition had been sent to Moscow.

Beknazarov said Tanaev is alleged to have transferred 40 million soms (about $1 million) to a private construction company owned by his son.

"We issued the [international arrest] warrant. [Former prime minister] Nikolai Tanaev transferred 40 million soms from the Social Fund though a private company run by his son," Beknazarov said. "He transferred [the funds for] pensions and benefits to the other [third] side by [his] own decision. The board of the government [a council of ministers] should have approved it. We found that the board didn't approve it. He [Tanaev] signed it [the decision about the transfer of the money] himself [without members of board]."

Tanaev could face up to eight years in prison if convicted.

Last week, Beknazarov announced that he had issued international arrest warrants for about 10 people, but gave few details.