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Former Kyrgyz President's Brother On Trial

Brother Of Ousted Kyrgyz President On Trial
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BISHKEK -- Ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev's brother, Akmat, has gone on trial in connection with ethnic clashes in the country earlier this year, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Akmat Bakiev faces a number of charges, including organizing mass disorder and violent attacks on law enforcement officials; extortion; illegal use of private lands; illegal procurement and possession of weapons; illegal construction; and creating and participating in an illegal armed group during ethnic clashes in the south in May and June.

The interim government launched an extensive search for Akmat Bakiev after clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in the southern regions of Osh and Jalal-Abad in mid-June that left more than 400 people dead. He was arrested in Jalal-Abad on June 23.

On December 15, Akmat Bakiev's lawyers urged the court to release their client under house arrest for the duration of the trial due to health problems. The court rejected that request.

Kurmanbek Bakiev fled Kyrgyzstan in the wake of antigovernment protests in April that brought the interim government to power. He is living in Belarus at the invitation of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

The ousted president and his other brother, Janysh, are being tried in absentia in connection with the killings of nearly 90 people during the April protests.

Bakiev is also wanted in Kyrgyzstan for embezzlement and abuse of power.

Read in Kyrgyz here