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Kyrgyzstan: Court Upholds Verdict Against Opposition Leader

Bishkek, 15 August 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Court today upheld the verdict of a lower court that found opposition leader Feliks Kulov guilty of abuse of office and sentenced him to 10 years in jail. Kulov had appealed the lower court's verdict, claiming the charges against him were politically motivated. His lawyer, Lyubov Ivanova, said she will now appeal the verdict in Kyrgyzstan's Constitutional Court.

Kulov was found guilty in January 2001 and jailed for abuse of power while he served as governor of the Chu Oblast in the mid-1990s. Kulov says the charges were politically motivated, noting they were filed against him only after he left government service and became an opposition leader.

Another opposition leader, Topchubek Turgunaliev, said he will attempt to bring Kulov's case before an international court.