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Criminal Case Against Kyrgyz Opposition Leader Dropped

Omurbek Tekebaev meeting with locals in Talas last month
Omurbek Tekebaev meeting with locals in Talas last month
BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General's Office has closed a criminal case against opposition leader Omurbek Tekebaev, who was charged last month with illegal weapons possession, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The office said that the case against Tekebaev has been dropped because no crime was committed. Tekebaev may still be investigated in accordance with a law against bringing a weapon to a peaceful gathering.

Tekebaev, leader of the Ata-Meken (Fatherland) Socialist Party, was organizing a series of party conferences in the northwest Talas region on January 17-18 when his car was stopped and searched by the police, who charged him with carrying an illegal weapon.

Tekebaev said the charges were politically motivated and that he had a license for the guns.

Meanwhile, earlier on February 6, several elderly politicians and military veterans met with State Secretary Dosbol Nur-uulu and urged Kyrgyz officials to end what they called the practice of bringing politically motivated charges against opposition leaders.