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Ireland Mum On Kyrgyz Request For Official's Extradition

Former Minister of Energy Saparbek Balkybekov, in an undated photograph
Former Minister of Energy Saparbek Balkybekov, in an undated photograph
BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz Prosecutor General's Office says Irish officials have not yet responded to Bishkek's request to extradite former Energy Minister Saparbek Balkybekov, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Kyrgyzstan made the request on January 28, two days after an announcement by the authorities that Balkybekov had been detained at the house of a relative in Dublin on an Interpol warrant.

Irish police have not confirmed Balkybekov's detention.

This week, some media outlets in Kyrgyzstan reported that Irish authorities refused to grant the extradition, but a spokesman, Tilek Murzakulov, for the Prosecutor General's Office told RFE/RL February 9 that Dublin never responded to the request.

Kyrgyz Interior Ministry spokesman Rakhmatullo Akhmedov told RFE/RL he has no information on the matter.

Balkybekov served in the government of former President Kurmanbek Bakiev and, as with other officials from Bakiev's government, is wanted on charges of corruption, financial mismanagement, and theft.

Following Bakiev's ouster after antigovernment protests in April, the interim government that took power issued international arrest warrants for Bakiev, several relatives, and a number of former officials.

Read more in Kyrgyz