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Kyrgyzstan: Trial of Top Kyrgyz Opposition Leader Postponed

Bishkek, 23 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - The trial of a top Kyrgyz opposition leader on charges of embezzlement has been postponed.

Our correspondent says that no reason was given as to why the trial of Topchubek TurgunAliyev had been postponed or if and when it would start.

Turgunaliev, who is also chairman of the "Erkin Kyrgyzstan" party, was detained last week and charged with embezzlement and insubordination -- charges oppositional leaders say are false and politically motivated.

About 50 people picketed Bishkek's municipal court building before dispersing upon word that the trial had been postponed.

Meanwhile, another top Kyrgyz opposition leader remains in custody although no formal charges have been filed. Jumagazy Usupov was detained two days ago after taking part in the founding congress of a new political party, "For Deliverance From Poverty."

Opposition leaders say both detentions are politically motivated.