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Jailed Kyrgyz Opposition Leader Transferred To House Arrest

Alikbek Jekshenkulov during his trial in June 2009
Alikbek Jekshenkulov during his trial in June 2009
BISHKEK -- Jailed Kyrgyz opposition leader Alikbek Jekshenkulov has been transferred from jail to house arrest, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Opposition Ata-Meken Party leader Omurbek Tekebaev told RFE/RL that Bishkek's Birinchi May district court decided to allow Jekshenkulov to stay under house arrest because of his worsened health.

Jekshenkulov, who served as Kyrgyz foreign minister from 2005-2007, was arrested in March for his alleged involvement in the killing of a Turkish businessman and financial abuse while in office.

Jekshenkulov denies the accusations, saying that they are politically motivated because of his work with the opposition For Justice movement.

Some of Jekshenkulov's relatives -- including a brother -- have also recently been charged with various crimes, which Jekshenkulov says is a government attempt to damage his reputation and put pressure on him.