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Bishkek Reopens Probe Into Death Of Former Presidential Office Chief

Sadyrkulov and two of his associates were found dead at this accident scene.
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz authorities have reopened the investigation into the death of former presidential office chief Medet Sadyrkulov, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Kyrgyz Interior Ministry official Samat Bakeev made the announcement to journalists in Bishkek today.

Sadyrkulov and two of his associates were found dead in a burned-out car on the Almaty-Bishkek highway on March 13, 2009. At the time, Kyrgyz officials said the deaths were the result of a traffic accident.

Sadyrkulov's relatives challenged that finding, saying the bodies were in positions indicating that the victims were already dead when the car caught fire.

Motorist Omurbek Osmonov was tried and found guilty of the traffic accident that allegedly caused the fire. He was sentenced to 12 years in jail. He was found dead in April this year in a village near Bishkek.

Sadyrkulov was chief of staff to former President Kurmanbek Bakiev until January 2009.