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Kyrgyz Police Arrest Ex-Prime Minister At Border

Former Prime Minister Tanaev (file photo) Bishkek, 6 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz police have arrested the country's former prime minister, Nikolai Tanaev, at a border crossing with Kazakhstan, according to RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service.

The Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General's Office released a statement today saying Tanaev was detained while trying to exit the country, which reportedly represents a breach of a deal with officials that Tanaev would not be jailed as long as he stayed in the country while he is investigated for abuse of office.

Almaz Dyryldaev, a spokesman for the Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General's Office, said Tanaev knew he was forbidden from leaving the country.

Tanaev's lawyer, Maksim Maksimovich, conceded to RFE/RL that Tanaev appeared to have been at fault for the incident. Maksimovich said his client was trying to visit Almaty in neighboring Kazakhstan but should have informed the authorities of his intentions before trying to leave Kyrgyzstan.

"He [Tanaev] didn't intend to hide from anybody," Maksimovich told RFE/RL. "His only mistake was that he didn't inform the investigator. He had to go to Almaty for one or two days to settle some personal matters. He didn't even have anything with him."

Tanaev had previously returned to Kyrgyzstan from Russia, where he fled following the uprising that toppled President Askar Akaev in March.

(with additional reporting by ITAR-TASS)