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Kyrgyz Minister Says Suspect In Journalist's Killing Arrested In Tajikistan

Journalist Alisher Saipov in 2007
Journalist Alisher Saipov in 2007
Kyrgyz Interior Minister Moldomusa Kongantiev has repeated a report that a suspect in the killing of independent Kyrgyz journalist Alisher Saipov was detained in Tajikistan, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Kongantiev told RFE/RL on January 26 that Kyrgyz and Tajik officials are discussing the suspect's extradition to Kyrgyzstan.

Meanwhile, Tajik officials told RFE/RL's Tajik Service the same day that they have no information about such a suspect being detained in Tajikistan.

Kyrgyz officials first reported the arrest of the suspect on January 16, and Tajik officials also denied the claim at that time.

Saipov, a Kyrgyz citizen of Uzbek origin who was chief editor of the "Siyosat" (Politics) newspaper, was shot dead near his office in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh on October 24, 2007.

He often wrote about the political and social affairs in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. His colleagues and human rights activists say he was killed for his critical articles about Uzbek officials.

Meanwhile, an Osh city court ruled on January 26 that Saipov's case will not be the subject of an additional investigation.

Saipov's father, Avaz Saipov, had asked the court to have the case reinvestigated. He said the investigations done thus far had been unprofessional and that he believes Uzbek secret agents -- with assistance from their Kyrgyz colleagues -- had killed his son.

He also said he believes that Abdulfarid Rasulov, the detained suspect, is innocent.