Accessibility links

Breaking News

Kyrgyz Military Court Upholds Verdict For Former Defense Minister

Ismail Isakov in court last week
Ismail Isakov in court last week
BISHKEK -- A Kyrgyz military appeals court today upheld the verdict of former Kyrgyz Defense Minister Ismail Isakov, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Isakov was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to eight years in prison last month.

The military court's decision today was announced in a nearly empty courtroom.

Isakov refused to attend the reading of the verdict in the courtroom. He insists all charges against him are politically motivated because he joined the opposition after leaving the government.

Isakov's lawyers left the courtroom earlier to protest Judge Tilek Abdrashitov's decision to give their client a chance for "the last testimony" -- a final comment after the verdict is read -- without allowing him time to prepare.

It is not clear if Isakov plans to appeal the verdict in the Supreme Court.

Hundreds of Isakov's supporters have been holding protest marches and hunger strikes in Bishkek and his native district of Alai since he was sentenced on January 11.