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Kyrgyz Activists To Rally For Former Minister; Verdict Delayed

Ismail Isakov
Ismail Isakov
BISHKEK -- Supporters of former Kyrgyz Defense Minister Ismail Isakov announced today they will hold protests demanding his release from jail, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Isakov, a lieutenant general who was defense minister from 2005-2008, is being tried in Bishkek for financial mismanagement and corruption while in office.

A verdict in Isakov's case was to be announced today but the hearings were postponed due, officially, to issues related to the judge's health.

The prosecutor in Isakov's trial asked the court last week to sentence him to eight years in jail, to confiscate his property, and to revoke all his military ranks and awards.

Kurmanjan Saparbaeva, the chairwoman of the Committee to Support Isakov, told RFE/RL that activists from Isakov's native region of Alai will begin holding protests in different parts of Kyrgyzstan this week.

The committee has asked President Kurmanbek Bakiev to get involved in Isakov's case and release him as soon as possible.

Isakov has pleaded not guilty and said the charges against him are politically motivated because of his decision to join the political
opposition in October 2008.