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Kyrgyzstan: Parliament Official Formally Charged

Bishkek, 8 January 2002 (RFE/RL) -- A regional prosecutor in Kyrgyzstan today formally charged Azimbek Beknazarov, chairman of parliament's Committee on Court Reforms and Legality, with abuse of power and ordered his arrest. Zootbek Kudaibergenov, prosecutor in the southern Jalal-Abad province, said the charges date from incidents which took place seven years ago, when Beknazarov served as an investigator in the local prosecutor's office.

Four days ago, Beknazarov was detained in the province when a local investigator alleged that he was a "suspicious person."

Beknazarov has recently been the target of government displeasure, after he criticized a decision to cede territory to China and Kazakhstan.