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Kyrgyzstan: Court Closes Independent Paper

Prague, 12 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Pervomai district court of Bishkek today decided to close the independent "Kriminal" paper, charging it with insulting several government officials and publishing deliberately false information.

Judge Maksuda Omorova issued the decision late today, excluding two other charges of insulting the Krygyz Prime Minister and Vice Prime Minister.

The Deputy editor in chief of the paper, Aidanbek Akmatov, told our correspondent after the ruling that the paper will appeal to the municipal court of Bishkek or to the Krygyz Supreme Court. Akmatov said they may take that action in the next ten days.

The paper was registered by the Justice ministry early in January. Our correspondent reports that only two of its editions were published before the Justice ministry tried to close the paper without any trial.