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Jailed Former Kyrgyz Defense Minister To Appeal To Higher Court

Ismail Isakov in court earlier this month
Ismail Isakov in court earlier this month
BISHKEK -- Former Kyrgyz Defense Minister Ismail Isakov, who was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to eight years in prison last month, will appeal his case to the Constitutional Court, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Isakov's lawyer, Azimbek Beknazarov, told RFE/RL on February 22 that there were constitutional violations during the military appeals court process that ended on February 19. The court upheld Isakov's conviction.

Beknazarov added that Isakov will soon be transferred to a different prison.

Meanwhile, activist Taalai Zikirov told RFE/RL that Isakov's supporters are planning to march from Isakov's remote home region of Alai toward Bishkek and will block the road from Osh to Erkechtam.

Hundreds of Isakov's supporters have staged protests and hunger strikes in Bishkek and Alai since he was sentenced on January 11.

Isakov was a close associate of President Kurmanbek Bakiev, who appointed him defense minister shortly after the 2005 Tulip Revolution. Isakov was named National Security Council secretary in May 2008. Five months later he resigned and joined the opposition.

Isakov and his supporters say the charges against him are politically motivated and the direct consequence of his decision to join the opposition.