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British Citizen Arrested In Kyrgyzstan

A British citizen has been arrested in Kyrgyzstan on charges of laundering money under the rule of ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiev.

Prosecutors and his lawyer said today that Vugar Khalilov, a former BBC and RFE/RL journalist who was head of a public-relations firm in the Kyrgyz capital, was arrested on April 12.

The charges pertained to a loan that Khalilov took out to start his PR firm, which did marketing and web design for companies linked to the ousted president's son, Maksim Bakiev.

Defense lawyer Artyom Ivanov described the charges as politically motivated.

Ivanov said Khalilov is being held in an isolation cell and has been denied access to a doctor despite chronic health problems.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office in London said British authorities were aware of the case and consular officials had visited Khalilov.

with agency reports
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