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Court Extends Detention Of Kyrgyz Opposition Leader

Picketers in support of jailed United People Movement leader Alikbek Jekshenkulov
A Bishkek court has extended by one month the detention of an opposition leader accused of involvement in a Turkish businessman's death, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.

Alikbek Jekshenkulov, a leader of Kyrgyzstan's opposition United People Movement, has been in detention since March 7.

Investigators say Jekshenkulov's gun was the murder weapon.

His lawyer, Nina Zotova, told RFE/RL that she plans to challenge the decision by the Birinchi-May district court to keep Jekshenkulov in custody.

Jekshenkulov denies any involvement, saying the accusations are politically motivated.

His brother, Taalay Mederkulov, has been in jail for three months in connection with accusations that he abused his powers while deputy mayor of the town of Balykchy.