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Kyrgyzstan: Opposition Leader Vows To Continue Political Work

Prague, 27 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - Krygyz opposition leader Topchubek TurgunAliyev says he plans to continue his political activities following his release from custody two days ago with a reduced sentence.

Turganaliev, leader of the opposition Erkin Kyrgyzstan Party, also told RFE/RL in a phone interview that he will appeal to the Krygz Supreme Court to fully overturn his sentence. He was released on Tuesday after the Supreme Court reduced his sentence on corruption charges to four years of residence and work at a penal colony near Bishkek.

The opposition leader's lawyer, Yuri Maksimov, told RFE/RL he believes TurganAliyev will be allowed soon to serve his sentence while living at home in Bishkek. TurganAliyev is due to begin four years work at the colony 35 km from Bishkek today.

TurganAliyev was sentenced last month by a Bishkek municipal court to 10 years in prison and confiscation of all his property on charges of abuse of power, forgery and embezzlement. Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Court last week excluded the charges of forgery and embezzlement and reduced the sentence. The opposition says the trial was politically motivated, and international human rights groups had appealed to Kyrgyz president Askar Akayev to overturn the verdict.