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Kyrgyz Ex-President Under Investigation

Ex-President Askar Akaev (file photo) (official site) October 6, 2006 -- Kyrgyzstan's prosecutor-general today released information that seemingly contradicts earlier claims that no criminal proceedings have been launched against former President Askar Akaev.

Kyrgyz media quote Kambaraly Kongantiev's office as saying Akaev is under investigation in connection with four criminal cases.

In particular, the former president is suspected of secretly ordering the transfer of 1.6 tons of gold from Kyrgyzstan to Switzerland during his tenure.

Prosecutors estimate the cost of the transaction at more than $17 million and say none of that money was returned to Kyrgyzstan's state coffers.

They also say they are investigating the disappearance of $500,000 from the Finance Ministry, where Akaev's son Aidar was working as an adviser.

On October 4, Deputy Prosecutor-General Aleksandr Neforosnykh said no criminal proceedings had been launched against Akaev.

Akaev was ousted from office in March 2005 and found refuge in Russia.


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