June 8, 2006 -- A court in Bishkek today rejected a petition to release Nurlan Motuev, the controversial leader of the Joomart political movement.
Motuev is currently in custody pending trial. Motuev, who is dubbed Kyrgyzstan's "Coal King," was arrested on May 23 and charged with unlawfully seizing state property and with tax evasion.
Motuev earned his moniker and his arrest by taking control of a coal mine in the town of Naryn. He had defied all government attempts to evict him.